Proletarian Power: UNITY AMONG COMMUNISTS: STRUGGLING FOR THE PARTY AND FOR THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL OF A NEW TYPE
MLM Party Organisation
Colombia, June 1, 2022
UNITY AMONG COMMUNISTS:
STRUGGLING FOR THE PARTY AND FOR THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL OF A NEW TYPE
UNITY AMONG COMMUNISTS:
STRUGGLING FOR THE PARTY AND FOR THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL OF A NEW TYPE
The deterioration of the living conditions of the world’s poorest people as never before, in the context of the current crisis of capitalism and enhanced in the Pandemic, as well as the environmental deterioration caused by the capitalist system of production with its serious consequences in global warming and climate change, have unleashed unprecedented popular discontent, generating an inevitable accelerated and ascending march of what many already recognise as “the manifest revolution” in recent popular struggles, both in Colombia and Latin America and – in general – in the whole world.
However, for this social explosion to become a proletarian revolution, the creation of single, centralised parties of the working class in each country, with a real capacity to take the lead in the revolutionary movement, is urgently required. Likewise, it is urgent to re-establish the Communist International and in this sense the holding of a Unified Maoist International Conference, as a preliminary step, to serve as a beacon for the revolutionary struggles and the struggles of the masses throughout the world.
“The ever more accentuated upward march of the mass movement and its advance on the road to revolution call for the creation of a single, centralised party of the working class, capable of placing itself at the head of the revolutionary movement”1.
But to create a real proletarian vanguard with real capacity to lead the revolution and break the enemy stronghold we have to overcome the sect spirit that (at least in Colombia) Maoist circles suffer from, when they consider sufficient the small forces they have managed to gather around them and, now, they wait patiently for the evolution of theirs, however small it may be, to one day fulfil what Lenin pointed out as essential to the Party of the proletariat: to be…
“… large enough to cover the whole country; vast and varied enough to be able to introduce into it a rigorous and detailed division of labour; strong enough to know how to continue its work unswervingly under all circumstances and in the face of all “turns” and unexpected situations; flexible enough to know, on the one hand, how to avoid battles in the open against an enemy dangerous because of his overwhelming strength, when he concentrates all his strength on one point, but knowing, on the other hand, how to take advantage of the clumsiness of movement of this enemy and to attack him on the spot and at the moment when he least expects to be attacked” (Lenin).i
But the mere evolution of a circle has never and will never result in the Party of the proletariat. The circles imbued with sectarianism imagine that the slow evolution of their small group is the most expeditious way to build the Party of the proletariat, to put an end to the stagnation and narrow practicality of the revolutionary forces in the nation. They fail to conceive of this leap as the product of the struggle for ideological unification in the process of organic unity aimed at uniting the various Maoist circles and individuals around the principles, from a ceaseless line struggle. Unity and struggle are necessary to defeat incorrect ideas and to break with opportunism and revisionism represented in those who misrepresent Marxism and those who persist in the dispersion of the proletariat. Unity to advance the organic centralisation of all proletarians who accept MLM principles. To paraphrase Lenin:
The real problem is that a significant part of the [Maoist] circles and their cadres do not want to look up from their small local practical work, do not understand the damage done by the lack of an organic and ideological unity of the Party, are used to the splitting of the Party and the ideological chaos within it, and imagine that it is possible to dispense with the unity of all [Maoists] in a single, centralised party.
In order to create a centralised party, it is necessary to do away with this backwardness, this stagnation and narrow practicality of the various small groups and small local circles.
An organisation which does not succeed in gathering within itself the forces of the proletariat guided by its ideology, even if for years it has fought in the anti-imperialist struggle and against landlord and oligarchic exploitation, will be unable to attract to its side those who, under economic pressures, coercion of power, or ideological confusion, are close to the enemy camp, or those who were once our enemies but who, because of new conditions, can today be allies on the basis of a clear demarcation of principles; it will not be able to build proletarian hegemony. In short, such an organisation will not succeed in uniting the people against imperialism and its lackeys.
To disregard the constant duty of communists to raise ever wider layers of the proletariat and the oppressed masses to their own advanced level, only means (as Lenin says) to deceive oneself, to close one’s eyes to the immensity of our tasks and to dwarf them. To proceed in this way is to slow down, isolate and damage the revolution by precipitating surrenders, demoralisation and surrender of cadres and intermediate masses who need proletarian leadership.
The self-absorbed organisations, which have renounced dialectics and therefore see themselves as absolutely pure (as a kind of synthesis of the entirely perfect proletariat), see the other democratic and revolutionary forces as completely wrong, the road of revolution as perfectly straight, and Sun Yat-Sen as the only democrat and friend of the people with whom it was possible to make an alliance or agreement. Thus, they will crash hopelessly into reality, which is dialectically produced, where everything is divided in two. Their metaphysical vision will prevent them from binding themselves strongly to the masses and will be a real obstacle to any agreement with other revolutionary organisations, and will inevitably lead them to total ostracism and defeat.
Having a sectarian policy among the MLM has almost always gone hand in hand with the “closed door” policy which considers it wrong to work among the democratic forces, the petty bourgeoisie, the middle peasants, the rich and the masses who do not repeat exactly the line they preach.
… they are unaware that, like everything else in the world, the alignment of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces is constantly undergoing changes, and a “closed-door” policy, as well as the absence of principles, will prevent the proletariat from benefiting from these changes. (Mao)
To deny the unity around principles and the demarcation by means of the line struggle, is to insist on promoting not only ideological chaos and the splitting of the proletariat over small differences of form and not of conception, promoting and perpetuating the dispersion of all the forces allied or capable of uniting to make the revolution. By proceeding in this way, it will be impossible for us to corner, isolate and defeat the enemy.
However, the ideological union of the proletariat alone is not enough to build or reconstitute the parties of the proletariat. After gaining an ideological identity it is necessary to “consolidate” it with the “material unity of organisation” of the proletariat, under the principles of democratic centralism which provide the rules for defining, in line struggle, statutes, programme, aims and tasks of the Party and, for the ultimate aim of the whole science of revolution: to transform the world with revolutionary practice, and, in this transformation, to verify in practice which aspects of the (political) line must be improved, which must be changed and which must be ratified and developed. And this is impossible without strict adherence to democratic centralism.
In short, in order for the Party to become a true vanguard party it must be firmly united by ideological principles, strictly governed by the principles of democratic centralism, and in practice it must disciplinedly carry out what has been agreed in the line struggle in order to transform the world and improve its knowledge and synthesis. But the party becomes the vanguard by leading. That is why the process of construction or reconstitution of the parties of the proletariat implies the simultaneous construction of the other instruments of the revolution which, also for Colombia, are the guerrilla army and the front.
We place then, for the consideration of the international communist movement and the Maoist movement in Colombia, the following analyses, where we will expose why we think that the unity of the proletariat is urgently required in each country and in the world, at the same time we argue on what basis this unity should be built and why for us it should be done on the basis of principles; In this sense we also criticise and slef-criticise ourselves for the mistakes that have been made in the Maoist movement, especially in our country, with regard to the construction of the Party of the Proletariat which derive – we think – from the lack of application of dialectics; and at the end of the present document we take up the bases of unity of our Party Organisation with the aim of proposing some basic but fundamental principles for unity among the communists.
UNITY OF THE PROLETARIAT IS URGENTLY NEEDED
“The working class needs unity. But unity can be effected only by a united organisation whose decisions are conscientiously carried out by all class-conscious workers. Discussing the problem, expressing and hearing different opinions, ascertaining the views of the majority of the organised Marxists, expressing these views in the form of decisions adopted by delegates and carrying them out conscientiously—this is what reasonable people all over the world call unity. Such a unity is infinitely precious, and infinitely important to the working class.”
Working Class Unity (Lenin).
“Za Pravdu”, No. 50, 3 December 1913.
The revolutionary movement and in particular the communist movement, worldwide, is going through a deep crisis which is inevitably reflected also in the political and resistance struggles of the masses.
Not for many years has the world witnessed such a significant upsurge in the mass movements in general, despite the absence of genuine communist parties. This weakness has prevented them from curbing the counter-revolutionary advances of the bourgeoisie in the sphere of economic demands (for example, it has not been possible to prevent the seizure of thousands of gains of the working masses); and even more seriously, it has not been possible to prevent the enemy from continuing to wrest the initiative from the communists in the struggle for political power.
It is well known that, in parts of the world, the proletariat and the masses maintain and wage, against the imperialist system and the oppressor classes, people’s wars as in India, Peru, Turkey and the Philippines and, in many other nations and territories, tenacious and not infrequently heroic resistance. However, the lack of genuine MLM Communist Parties, in most parts of the world, and of a Communist International, leaves the oppressed without their most important weapon and in extremely weak conditions. If the communists do not react promptly and energetically, the price to be paid by the masses around the world will be greater than the sacrifices of the first and second world wars combined.
In confronting world reaction (the imperialist system), the proletariat has a number of enemies which must be confronted with full determination. On the one hand, there are the classes which are the target of the revolution and which, in general terms, must be clearly defined in the programme of the revolution and the political line; on the other hand, there are the opportunists and revisionists (enemies of the Party, the masses, the proletariat and the revolution) within the revolutionary organisations trying by many means to “reform” (distort) Marxism, or to justify and defend the most backward in the matter of organisation and to twist or slow down the revolution. It is these enemies who are mainly responsible for the great dispersion from which the proletariat and the revolutionary movement in general are suffering at present.
While, by the end of the 20th century, the proletariat had the extraordinary development of the People’s War in Peru led by Chairman Gonzalo, which gave rise to the most important practical developments and theoretical contributions of recent times in Marxism, it is also true that, by the end of the 20th century, revisionism and opportunism were also incubating within RIM itself, headed mainly by Avakian, the RCP-USA and the Communist Party of Nepal, in such a way that they managed to introduce a great dispersion among the communists, the revolutionary and popular movement in general.
In retrospect, the strategy of the revisionists and opportunists embedded in RIM was as follows: permanently repeating general truths of Marxism Leninism Maoism but smuggling in reformism and opportunism, sometimes in dribs and drabs, sometimes in plain sight, making themselves fully visible, but always making sure that the “Marxism”, or rather, the catechism they preached, remained in the most general abstractions, in the exclusively “theoretical” terrain, without practical application (in Nepal where, before its unravelling, the essential incidence was of MLM which allowed the development of a PPW, after its betrayal, they implemented its dismantling).
Likewise, the method by which they trained the cadres was absolutely scholastic, in the best style of cloistered monks, with little contact with the real world (with the class struggle) and without the slightest ability to transform the world; limiting themselves to reproducing it permanently, as it is in its dynamics and structures, but aggravating the material conditions of the people. In fact, these false communists posed as very revolutionary, but when the time came for the application of theory, when practical solutions were demanded, they went off on a tangent with a lesson learned by heart, in mere general truths. Since they had a little awareness of their poor practice, they were always on their guard to answer any criticism with half a dozen platitudes, which never solved anything. They never really explained anything scientifically; theirs were only empty words which served as a counter-attack to turn the tables, and the critics were “criticised” as adventurers, as empiricists, as opportunists, and so on.
After the People’s War in Peru went into “the bend” with the capture of Chairman Gonzalo, opportunism found a favourable moment and struck its strongest blow, intensified the campaign to spread Avakian’s “New Synthesis”, stopped the People’s War in Nepal by surrendering all the gains the masses had made, demobilised RIM and mobilised its acolytes to spread the “New Synthesis”.
1. METAPHYSICS IN THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT: THE PROLETARIAN PARTY WITHOUT A LINE STRUGGLE, MONOLITHIC, THE PRODUCT OF THE TEDIOUS EVOLUTION OF A SMALL GROUP
Principles as a cohesive element
Unity around principles gives us the certainty that the Party (or revolutionary organisation) remains in the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat, guaranteeing that the main aspect of the party is the proletarian, regardless of the (political) line which, at a given moment or for a given period, becomes the majority in a process of internal line struggle. A firm grasp of the principles guarantees a democratic and broad-based line struggle, allowing the different lines to be fully exposed, criticisms to be made and mistakes to be corrected, in a democratic atmosphere, without the fear that a new line will take the organisation out of the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat and without the fear of the usual splits over line differences. In other words, principles are the first and foremost strength to prevent opportunism and revisionism from taking over the leadership of the proletarian organisation, when it is in a struggle to define a political line or when it is in a struggle to improve it. For communists, unity around principles has as its main aspect to guarantee the building and strengthening of the organisation of the proletariat (in the theoretical and organisational spheres), through the various line struggles that arise and are processed there until they form the confrontation of the fundamental ones.
The correct handling of contradictions is key in the dialectic: unity-struggle-unity, where the most correct positions are confronted, in line struggle, with the incorrect assessments, allowing the centralisation of ideas through struggle to achieve unity of wills, so that revolutionary practice (tactical and strategic) helps to determine and consolidate the correct line. It is not possible to achieve the correct line outside this dialectic (in the struggle against left and right deviations). It is indispensable to enable the contradiction to develop within the organisation itself, ensuring that one part of the party can be in the majority and another accepts being in the minority, within the framework provided by the fundamental principles of the proletariat, ensuring that the process of line struggles follows its dialectical course, improving and refining the party line and allowing the organisation, armed with democratic centralism (proletarian discipline), to test the line, in practice, complying with (and ratifying) what was agreed in the process of struggle and the definition of the lines faced in the structuring or restructuring of the strategic line.
Without the guarantees provided by unity around principles, there will be no certainty in the line struggle; for example, the certainty that the minority will submit to the majority, or that the minority will have the opportunity, in the line struggle, to explain the correctness of its positions. If one were to dispense with principles as the fundamental criterion of unity of Marxists, there would be no certainty that one is in the right organisation, irrespective of the general line which becomes the majority line in the organisation. But if it were said that it is not only principles that determine who can be in a proletarian organisation, but that principles and line are the fundamental criteria for determining who is in the ranks of the proletariat and who is outside, this would imply that a difference of principles is a split in the organisation, and this has all the logic, but, in addition, this would imply that a difference of lines, then, each discrepancy of line would not lead to a strengthening of the organisation, but to a splitting, a series of endless splits would ensue, where each new difference of line is a new split, a dismemberment of the revolutionaries, giving rise to new groupings and a strengthening of autonomism in opposition to centralism, in opposition to the One Party: a whole ode and a smooth opening of the road to opportunism in the matter of organisation.
Split as harakiri
In the most consistent communist movement there is indisputable agreement that Marxists unite around principles. However, some comrades in Colombia, in a monumental misunderstanding of dialectics and posing as very intransigent with opportunism, spread the idea that the fundamental and primordial factor of unity among Marxists was around principles, where the main thing is the political line; turning the split over differences of line into a constant on the left and the struggle of lines within the organisations into a real rarity, even a non-existent factor. Every new line difference that begins to emerge is understood as a break in unity and automatically becomes a split, with no line struggle within the revolutionary organisation and no significant traces of the split. They split and that’s it. For more than thirty years there have been constant divisions, but with an absence of ideological demarcations expressed in writings that give an account of the struggle and the demarcation, which is -ostensibly- contrary to the science of revolution.
The comrades start from the correct idea that all differences of line are, fundamentally, the product of the conceptions of different classes and that different conceptions generate differences of principle; however, they wrongly conclude that, in order to maintain purity in MLM, it is always necessary to make an organic break with an emerging political line or nuance, provoking splits which they assume to be a defeat of opportunism. These comrades are unaware that, although Marxism is made up of thousands of truths, it will never be considered as something finished and intangible and that, therefore (as Lenin was able to establish) it has not been, nor will it be – living Marxism – the enemy of being subjected to criticism. Similarly, and with more reason, all political lines, however correct they may be, are split in two; that is to say, they will never be forever free of revisionism and opportunism, nor of their struggle; they must always be subjected to criticism, or rather, to the purifying fire of the party line struggle, without in every case necessitating a split. But understanding that, when it comes to a difference of principle (at the root), as Lenin pointed out, when we are faced with consummate disorganisers of the revolutionary movement, with liberals or violators of the will of the majority, with a clear demarcation of principles, the only option is the honest split. The split used indiscriminately, when it is still possible to resolve the contradiction within the same party, is a harakiri that weakens the proletarian vanguard. Resorting to splitting, without dealing, through the line struggle within the organisation, with the various deviations that frequently sprout up within any revolutionary organisation, in order to channel them back to Marxism, is to take the road that negates the line struggle and leads to the dispersion of the forces of the proletariat and to liquidationism. The struggle within the party is aimed at the unity of the proletariat: disunity to achieve higher levels of unity and strengthening of the party; struggle to improve and deepen the line (theory of Marxist knowledge applied to the reality of the class struggle); struggle to defeat incorrect ideas. Let us recall Mao’s words: “Opposition and struggle between different ideas are constantly taking place within the Party. This is the reflection within the Party of the contradictions between the classes and between the new and the old in society. If there were no contradictions in the Party and no ideological struggles to resolve them, the life of the Party would come to an end.”
But the existence of principles as a cohesive foundation does not negate the need of the proletariat and the revolution for the political line to describe our reality as accurately as possible (the future of the revolution depends on the correctness of this interpretation of reality) and, of course, the undeniable need to defend, in the line struggle, our deepest Marxist convictions against those who seek to diminish or misrepresent MLM. A correct political line can only be achieved (arrived at) in an organisation united by the principles of the proletariat. Striving to build unity around principles does not mean that the line does not matter, for it is a truism that a correct political line decides everything; without it, unity around principles is innocuous, there would be no real unity of wills to seal the centralisation for a war machine to beat imperialism, its allies and build the New Power.
Therefore, if a line definitely goes against the basic principles of MLM, there remains within the organisation the resource of the faction (which allows two or more fractions of a party to fight to prove who is right, with differentiated processes, obeying different lines, even within the same party), fighting to re-establish the indispensable unity of the single, centralised fighting organisation; But if one of the lines has become its opposite, i.e., has become a real obstacle to the building of the New Proletarian Power, and has thus become incorrigibly opportunist, the proletariat must resort to the honest split. The honest split is a resource within the dialectics of Party building which should only be resorted to when the line struggle fails to resolve the contradiction within the same proletarian organisation on the ideological terrain (of class ideology), that is, when opportunism or revisionism have definitively broken the framework of MLM principles which united the whole organisation.
2. THE ERRORS
Fundamentally, wherein lie the errors of those comrades who ignore the principles as the unifying factor of the Marxists or who attribute to the political line the role of a dividing stone between the Marxists?
1) Because they have insisted on setting or imposing “the correct line” as the primary unifying factor of Marxists, they have unleashed the formation of as many revolutionary organisations as there are political lines, or nuances, promoting the metaphysical idea of a monolithic organisation without internal line struggle; However, these organisations which promote unity, not in principle, but in line, in practice cannot abstract from contradiction and, since there is no real line struggle, this struggle is inevitably replaced by small differences of appreciation of reality, disagreements in work plans, by ideological deficiencies of comrades, by personal quarrels, by all the problems generated by the inevitably artisanal methods of revolutionary work in small circles, in short, by contradictions inherent in coexistence. On the other hand, these contradictions, which to a large extent are petty differences, are magnified by grandiloquent language, full of quotations from the masters of the proletariat, which give the impression of the greatest theoretical seriousness, but lack, fundamentally, a real application of Marxism to our reality;
2) As a corollary, in the absence of the internal line struggle, the idea that the Party of the Proletariat will emerge from the evolution of one of these tiny MLM organisations has become widespread among all the small circles.
3) An abandonment of dialectics for not understanding the quintessence of the problem of contradiction in the unity of Marxists, where the general (the absolute) are the principles that unite all Marxist Leninist Maoists, determining who is in the ranks of the proletariat and who is outside, independently of the territory or nation in which they live; the individual (the relative) are the lines that must be defined to develop the different tasks, for example, the revolution in each social formation in the different nations.
4) To assert that the political line, together with the principles, determines who is a Marxist and who is not, is to confuse the general with the individual, and to ignore, on the one hand, that the struggle to determine the principles is synthesised in an agreement which, fundamentally, must be by consensus, since there must be no militants in the militant proletarian organisations who do not accept the fundamental principles of Marxism, hence its absolute character; On the other hand, the line is determined in the midst of the line struggle governed by the organisational principles of democratic centralism (where the minority submits to the majority, the lower bodies to the higher ones, the organisation to the congress), i.e., dissent must be admitted, without denying the principles. To give the political line the character of the touchstone which determines who is a true Marxist and who is not, is to exchange: democratic centralism (the struggle of lines) for consensus (all agreeing on the correct line); the struggle of lines as the motor of the organisation for a tedious and slow vulgar evolutionism; the single Party of the proletariat for the proliferation of small circles. In concrete terms, it is the exchange of dialectics for metaphysics.
5) They are unaware that the correct line is a process of synthesis of the different line struggles, and that all lines, without exception, are divided in two. There is no line which escapes this dialectic, no matter how correct it is, it will always be subject to improvement, to correction in struggle. Engels said: “We have also seen how in the world of thought we cannot get rid of contradictions, and how, for example, the contradiction between the inwardly unlimited human cognitive capacity and its real existence only in outwardly limited and limitedly knowing men, is resolved in the succession, for us at least practically infinite, of generations, in unlimited progress.” To disregard this is to deny the Marxist theory of knowledge.
Many small groups that reproduce this error go around promising hell for all those who do not exactly repeat their political line. They divide the world into good and bad. They do not perceive the world as a contradiction, where one is, and one is not. These comrades claim that those who do not share their line cannot call themselves proletarians and, consequently, their small circle must be the Party, and everything outside it is pure revisionism and opportunism. According to this logic, outside this political line there is no proletariat; there are no more comrades to unite in the Party than those who completely accept its political line. This conception of the pure proletariat, without contradiction, is anti-dialectical.
In conclusion, the most important legacy left by opportunism in the MLM movement in Colombia is the misunderstanding of dialectics, which has translated in practice into a replacement of dialectics by metaphysics, by vulgar evolutionism, and which has as a direct derivation, the impossibility of building the single Party of the Proletariat; likewise, the limitations that this entails for a more correct synthesis of the MLM political line and, as a direct consequence, the impossibility of developing the Protracted People’s War. For example, many of these quasi-Marxists (with a one-sidedly assimilated Marxism) chanted ad nauseam that they were going to build the Party of the Proletariat from one of these small groups, the product of their boring and slow evolution, owners of a correct line without contradiction, after the party was built, a Protracted People’s War would be “launched”. Exhausted from repeating what was impossible to do by metaphysical methods, they have folded themselves into the New Synthesis and waited for the world revolution to come. It is necessary to see them today, without analysis, without self-criticism, abandoning yesterday’s fiery speeches on the PPW, and now engaged in repeating, without analysis, without criticism, without shame, the revisionism of the New Synthesis.
But, this organisational opportunism has spread like an epidemic among many comrades, and splits over differences of line have become a constant and are the cause of the great weakness of the proletariat and the masses in Colombia. It is the main source of opportunism, although paradoxically, the revolutionaries have encouraged countless splits under the pretext of breaking with opportunism; however, this proliferation of small isolated circles is, in practice, the negation of the party; it is the substitution of the most important weapon of the proletariat, the MLM Party, by the opportunist line in the organisational terrain of the small fiefdoms. The idea has also been spread that if all the small MLM groups unite (in struggle) around the principles to form the Party, opportunism will be the winner, how little confidence they have in the scientific theory of the revolution! How little confidence they have in themselves! Thus, all the MLM organisations end up placing their faith in their own evolution resulting in the Party of the Proletariat.
3. LENIN’S METAPHOR OF THE “DOUBLE KNOT” IN “ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK”: A LESSON IN DIALECTICS FOR MLM PARTY BUILDING
It was Lenin, among the masters of the proletariat, who had the richest experience in the struggle to build the Party of the Proletariat and, of course, he is the Marxist who left the most synthesis in writing on this subject. It would be foolish not to pick out extensive passages from his rich and vast oeuvre.
In the work he wrote on the contradictions at the second congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Party, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”, there is a harvest of practical lessons in dialectics, applied to the building of the party of the proletariat, in a display of his extraordinary capacity for analysis and his profound understanding of dialectics.
In “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”, it becomes supremely clear that the first and foremost struggle against opportunism is concretised in the building of the Party of the Proletariat: it is the struggle to overcome the organisational dispersion of the communists, against the autonomism of the groupings; it is the necessity to build the party as a first-class, homogeneous, energetic organisation that is ready to be the vanguard of the proletariat and the oppressed masses. Whoever does not understand this and does not put all his efforts into concretising the Party as an immediate task, cannot call himself an MLM. If those who call themselves Marxists continue to use the cadres to preserve their privileges and whims in small circles (fiefdoms), and not for a higher goal in the class struggle (the building of the New Power led by the Party of the Proletariat) they can only be called in one way: opportunists.
PARTY UNITY HAS TO SURVIVE INTERNAL CONTRADICTIONS: THIS IS A PURPOSE OF THE PRINCIPLES, AND IT IS A GUARANTEE FOR THE LIFE AND CONTINUITY OF THE PARTY.
Despite Lenin’s disagreements with Martov over the first article of the Party statutes, which determined who could be a member, Lenin did not seek a split but unity.
“I thereby express clearly and precisely my wish, my demand, that the Party, as the vanguard of the class, should be as organised as possible, that the Party should admit to its ranks only such elements as allow of at least a minimum of organisation. My opponent, on the contrary, lumps together in the Party organised and unorganised elements, those who lend themselves to direction and those who do not, the advanced and the incorrigibly backward—for the corrigibly backward can join an organisation. This confusion is indeed dangerous.”
But, Lenin considered that these differences were not sufficient reason for the split, he said:
“What, then, was the essence of the question in dispute? I said at the Congress, and I have repeated it more than once since, that ‘I do not consider our disagreement (on the first article) so essential that the life or death of the Party depends on it. We will not perish, far from it, because of a bad article in the statutes! This disagreement in itself, while revealing nuances of principle, could in no way produce the divergence (and indeed, to speak unconventionally, the split) which occurred after the Congress. But every small discrepancy can become great if we insist on it, if we bring it to the fore, if we set about looking for all the roots and all the ramifications of it.”
Lenin tried by all means available to the line struggle to continue the process of centralisation in the party, tying a double knot in the glass that had broken (a metaphor by which he meant the defeat suffered by the Bolsheviks with the first article of the party, but the need to continue with unity in the party), ensuring that the unity of the party was maintained in harmony, for the rights of the minority; But it was the opportunists who, by insisting on this contradiction and deepening opportunism, led the proletarian organisation to split, i.e. it was the right wing and not the left wing which precipitated the split.
“I repeat: the leading centres have placed themselves outside the party. There is no middle ground: you are either with them or with the party. It is time to delimit our positions and, unlike the Mensheviks, who undermine the party by stealth, to accept their challenge with our heads held high. Rupture, yes, since you wanted it to be total. Rupture, yes, since we have exhausted all means of settling the difference within the party. Rupture, yes, because always and everywhere the shameful approach of the disorganisers only serves to harm the cause.”
However, it must be remembered that until 1912 Lenin sought unity with the Mensheviks, of course, in the midst of the struggle for principle.
Now, in one example, he points out and teaches us reliably the dialectical way in which the masters of the proletariat reason and argue. Here Lenin rescues a quotation from Engels where he reveals the dialectics of the Party:
“Engels told him (on 28 December 1886) that the time had not yet come to do so, since it would be better for the workers’ party to begin to form itself, with a programme which was not entirely orthodox. The workers themselves would later understand the crux of the matter, they would “learn from their own mistakes”; but “I would regard it as a grave error” to hinder “the national cohesion of the workers’ party because of a programme, whatever it might be”. Of course, Engels understood perfectly well, and pointed out repeatedly, how absurd and reactionary Henry George’s idea was from the socialist point of view.
Hence Lenin continued to insist on unity despite the differences with the Mensheviks. It is good to compare the way in which a master of the proletariat reasons, as opposed to the cadres trained in the metaphysical schools so widespread in our times.
PRINCIPLES OF PARTY UNITY
(We reproduce, as a perspective on the proposed discussion, with minor adjustments, our basis for party unity).
“It would be extremely irresponsible, and contrary to the Marxist theory of knowledge, to fail to attach adequate importance to experience gained and lessons learned in the course of mass revolutionary struggles of millions of people and paid for by countless martyrs.”.
OUR BASIS OF UNITY IN MARXISM LENINISM MAOISM
It is part of our revolutionary work to forge communists who, armed with the ideology of the proletariat, achieve the dialectical unity between theory and practice, guided by the slogan of changing the character of the present war. The left wing of Maoism must deploy its best efforts to bridge the gap between political organisational work and participation in the revolutionary war. We intend to contribute the best of our efforts to the construction of a Communist International of a new type, and to the militarised Communist Party of Colombia, in the process of converting the current confrontation in the country into a people’s war, as a function of the New Power.
To achieve this, it is necessary to take up the essence of the ideological principles. These are the synthesis of the active participation of the masses in the struggle for production throughout the different modes of production, of the permanent struggle for scientific experimentation in society and of the political struggle for power throughout history as the very foundation of revolutionary practice. It is the masses of the people who have clarified these revolutionary principles in heroic battles in the course of the class struggle. It is the proletariat which has synthesised them through its party and the great masters, in their different stages.
The assumption of the Ideological Principles of the Proletariat must lead us to commit ourselves to the fulfilment of the basic tasks of the Revolution: the building of the Party and the other instruments of the revolution as the immediate task, with the seizure of power through the People’s War as the central task. As our guide, these principles must help us to understand and transform the character of the current revolutionary armed struggle being waged in our country and the leading role that the proletariat must play in it.
Marxism Leninism Maoism (MLM) teaches us not only that it is right to rebel and that where there is oppression there will be resistance, but to go from simply shaking off the chains to breaking them once and for all. We say that Marxism Leninism Maoism is a scientific ideology, the science of revolution, precisely because it shows us the sure path to liberation, because it goes to the very depths of the system and explains where capitalist exploitation lies, how to end it, pointing out who is called upon to do so and what our strategic goal is.
MLM serves the emancipatory cause of the proletariat and is based on the objective reality of the material world. It is therefore a scientific ideology. As Mao would put it: “The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice. The truth of any knowledge or theory is determined not by subjective feelings, but by objective results in social practice. Only social practice can be the criterion of truth.“
MLM is the force that moves us to change the world and, moreover, it is the scientific tool we use to interpret and transform society. In class-divided societies, all subjects, individual and collective, conceive the world from their class position and interests, acting from that conception; ideas and practice have in these societies their respective class stamp. However, as Marxism has established in its different stages (as Marxism, as Marxism-Leninism and as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism), far from all relativism, reality exists objectively and can be known, giving way to the existence of objective truth. To the extent that knowledge develops, classes, according to their location in history, can have greater or lesser possibilities of accessing knowledge of that reality and its transformation.
The ideology of the proletariat does not reduce to neither a morality nor a science. It is a science which makes it possible to find the laws and contradictions which govern material reality (including capitalist society), and an ideology which organises the masses according to their main demand: the construction and conquest of political power.
MLM, as a scientific ideology, is nourished and developed with each new revolutionary experience; it embodies a living science that is enriched with each new application. In the development of the struggle we highlight three great peaks generated historically, the product of the dialectical relationship between masses, parties and leaders. In this relationship, the thought of those whom we recognise as the great masters of the proletariat inthe history that has passed under capitalism, represents – each one – a new synthesis of the whole of the doctrine which, then, catapults a new stage and a new development of our ideology, making possible the solution of the new problems that the class struggle poses.
Thus, Marxism’s synthesis of the most advanced thinking of mankind in the field of philosophy, of the knowledge of the laws governing the economic order of society and of the lessons concerning the knowledge and application of political power in its relation to the transformation of the character of society, was nothing more and nothing less than Marx’s application of the principles found in the midst of the struggle of the proletariat of the time and its party organisation, to the concrete conditions of capitalism as it unfolded in Europe. The result of this struggle made it possible to find the universal laws that govern the class struggle in general and, specifically, those that do so under capitalism. Precisely, Marxism was born as a science and ideology that synthesises these laws, and understands and explains them as universal laws that are fulfilled in every capitalist social formation. The application of Marxism to the conditions of Tsarist Russia by Lenin (the Bolshevik party line) generated the universals of knowledge of the laws governing capitalist societies in the epoch of imperialism. The application of Marxism-Leninism to the Chinese reality generated new contributions of universal validity, from Mao’s thought (the Communist party line), which the proletariat assumed as Maoism.
Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism represent – at each stage – the synthesis of the developments, but also a formidable leap, each time, in the three sources and three integral parts of Marxism. In each case, this higher synthesis and this leap constitute developments of the same doctrine, and their contributions to the universals valid for the whole of the class struggle throughout the world.
Marx, whom we recognise as the founder of our scientific ideology with its three integral parts, although he did not “invent” anything, nor was he alone, we claim him as the first great synthesiser and the first to indicate to the proletariat the need to take the lead in the process of emancipation of itself and the whole of society, as well as giving it scientific tools to achieve this. That is why we say that our scientific ideology is Marxism.
Marx synthesised the German philosophy of Hegel and Feuerbach to give birth to dialectical materialism, which is the philosophical basis of Marxism. Marx’s superior synthesis of the inheritance of materialism and dialectics makes it possible to overcome both mechanical materialism, whichdoes not consistently assume contradiction (and therefore can only think of evolution), and idealistic dialectics, which does not recognise the primacy of matter over thought. Dialectical materialism, materialist dialectics, recognises that all reality is material reality, that it is composed of matter in motion and that ideas arise from this material reality. It further posits that all reality exists as a unity of opposites; the unity and identity of all things is temporary and relative, the struggle of opposites is ceaseless and absolute, and this causes radical ruptures and revolutionary leaps. Any idea of permanent equilibrium, of permanent stability, of permanent order or of predestined or eternal things is incorrect and ultimately reactionary. This applies to reality which, as Marx himself says “is one and diverse” and encompasses and articulates processes of nature, society and thought with their complex development, their multiple leaps and syntheses. Dialectical materialism also recognises that practice is both the source and the fundamental criterion of truth and emphasises primarily revolutionary practice, as responsible for the progress of society, when it states that “philosophers have done nothing more than interpret the world in various ways, but it is a question of transforming it”.
In political economy, Marx’s critique of bourgeois political economy explains how capitalist relations of production generalise commodity production to such an extent that labour power itself becomes just another commodity, but a commodity whose reproduction guarantees the reproduction of capitalism and of the social relations on which capitalism is based. In making this synthesis, he reveals how commodities are presented to us as objects that satisfy any human need, and at the same time as objects that can be exchanged for others. The capacity of any object to satisfy a need constitutes its use value. This is historical and depends not only on the characteristics that nature gives to the material that has been transformed to generate it, but also on other characteristics that materialise in the concrete work process that gives rise to it, in accordance with the development of the productive forces and the advance of science and its application (technology) at a particular level of material production conquered by society. To explain what makes it possible to exchange in a certain proportion one object for another had been an insoluble problem until bourgeois economics discovered that it is made possible by the quantity of labour in its production. Marx drew all the conclusions from this truth, so that by criticising what had hitherto been merely the first path that economics had taken (to paraphrase Marx: they had achieved ever simpler concepts: From the concrete represented, they arrived at more and more subtle abstractions until they reached the simplest determinations, but at this point they did not return to a rich totality with multiple determinations and relations) Marx was able to explain the phenomenon of capitalist exploitation, specifying that the socially necessary labour ineach commodity is the basis of exchange in class-divided societies. What is really fundamental is that commodities are the product of human labour and, therefore, when they are exchanged, they are exchanged for their value, i.e. for the time socially necessary for the production of those objects.
The value of the commodity is thus determined by the amount of labour-time socially necessary for its production. The wage-worker sells his labour power to the owner of the land, the factory and the instruments of labour, i.e. the means of production; part of the working day is used by the worker to produce what is necessary to cover the cost of his and his family’s livelihood, i.e. he creates the value of his own labour power. The wage thus does not pay for the labour, but only for the labour power of the wage-worker. During the other part of the working day, the worker creates another part of value which is converted into surplus value, which is appropriated by the capitalist, the source of profit and wealth of the bourgeois class. Under class-divided societies and with their development throughout history, labour that does not produce commodities (objects intended for exchange) disappears more and more, and in capitalism this form is exacerbated and generalised, taking over all areas of social practice: more and more labour that does not produce commodities is eliminated.
Private property rests on the exploitation of the labour of others. Marxism explained how the private appropriation of production and the means of production on the one hand, and the socialisation or socialised production of labour on the other, is the fundamental contradiction of capitalism.
It is Marx who synthesises, through historical materialism, that the history of the societies that have existed is, fundamentally, the history of the class struggle and that the struggle between the classes is the main motor of historical events. But as he himself told us, it is not to him that we owe the merit of this discovery. His merit lies in understanding and explaining the causality of history, the recognition of the development of the class struggle which necessarily determines and carries its process from the historical origin of commodities to the historical stage of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the necessary transitional phase for the elimination of social classes. In other words, the work of Marx and Engels made Marxism, found the objective laws of the development of class-divided societies, pointing out the determinations of both their reproduction and their radical transformation: it found the keys to social revolution. It was he who put forward that socialism is the declaration of the permanent revolution of the class dictatorship of the proletariat, as the necessary point for the suppression of class differences in general, for the suppression of all relations of production on which they rest, for the suppression of all social relations which correspond to those relations of production, for the subversion of all ideas which spring from those social relations.
2. V. I Lenin.
Lenin deepened the lessons that Marx had learned from the Paris Commune, the first victorious historical experience of the proletariat in the struggle for political power. Thus he developed Marxist theory in its three constituent parts – philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism – and at the same time led the struggle against the revisionism of his time. At the head of the Bolshevik party, in his line, applying Marxism to the concrete conditions of Tsarist Russia and to the reality of the capitalist world at the close of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century, he led the proletariat to the conquest and application of power for the second time in history, and he did so by applying a programme that resulted from research and the appropriation of the science of revolution. That is why we recognise him, then, as the second summit in the development of our scientific ideology. Thanks to his work we raised Marxism to a second stage, Marxism Leninism.
Lenin, delineated camps with the false dialectics of the approach that looks for or believes to find in the social processes “the positive and the negative”, the “well and the bad” that already Marx had criticised in the positions of Proudhon; and, in doing so and criticising empirocriticism or empirio-monism, demolished the loopholes of the mechanistic dialectic which, hand in hand with revisionism, had sought to take over revolutionary thought and hegemonise the movement.
With the advance of the natural sciences, their inventions and discoveries, many argued the invalidity of Marxism. Lenin, on the contrary, saw in this progress the living practice of dialectical materialism and taught us that Marxism is driven by the development of the sciences. In the field of philosophy, Lenin waged a great struggle against empiriocriticism and agnosticism. It was he who taught us that the soul of Marxism was the concrete analysis of the concrete situation, and he pointed out for the first time that the fundamental law of materialist dialectics is the identity and struggle of opposites.
As for the theory-practice relationship, he pointed out that without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement, and that the contradiction between revolutionary theory and revolutionary practice can only be solved in the Party, with the organisation of the masses, is the source of this consciousness. He showed that, being the proletarian consciousness outside the masses, the Party had to take it to the masses, and this consciousness arises from its insertion in the whole of the class struggle and is not generated mechanically “progressing” from the economic (the trade unionist struggle) to the political and, from there, to the military.
In developing the critique of bourgeois political economy, he placed imperialism as the highest and last stage of capitalism, and explained how the laws which govern it are the same as those which determine capitalism, and how its characteristics, which appear as novelties, are only a consequence of its own development. He concluded that free competition capitalism is transformed into a system dominated by a small group of monopolies; and as he put it, imperialism is monopoly capitalism, parasitic and decomposing. It was he who argued that with the development of capitalism to its highest and final stage, we had entered the epoch of imperialism and the world proletarian revolution, so that, the programme of the revolutionary bourgeoisie having been exhausted, from the fifties of the 19th century onwards, the democratic revolutions would henceforth be led by the proletariat and conducted to socialism by the work of its party which should concentrate in its hands all the threads of conspiratorial activity.
He applied and developed the principle of revolutionary violence to achieve the triumph of the revolution, and guided us that, in the face of imperialist rivalries for the division of the world, we communists must oppose revolutionary war to reactionary war, change the character of imperialist war, of wars of aggression. It was he who showed us that the proletariat in its struggle for power has at its disposal its most deadly weapon which is Organisation and that the highest form of Organisation of the proletariat is the Communist Party, a Party of a new type which is different and opposed to the bourgeois parties. In hard struggle against Menshevism and liberal softness, he found and systematised organisational principles universally valid under the class struggle in every capitalist society, differentiating the Party of the masses from the Party of cadres which the proletariat needs to build. He showed how these Leninist principles of organisation (collective leadership, democratic centralism, rigorous conspiratorialism of the membership), necessarily landed in very different organisational forms depending on multiple, historically determined factors. In doing this he showed that there was a relationship and a difference between the organisational forms of the masses and party organisation, so that the latter could bring revolutionary consciousness to the living movement of the masses. He showed that the character of party organisation depended on the character of the tasks it was to take on, so that a party organised to “extend democracy” and make some reforms to capitalism is one thing, and a party that aims to demolish capitalism and make revolution is another.
Consequently, he showed us, in practice, that the Party of the working class must be the main weapon of the proletariat, that it must be conspiratorial, clandestine and compartmentalised if it is to achieve victory; that being an organised detachment of the class, highly disciplined and equipped with proletarian ideology, it is a party of a new type which develops itself in struggle against all currents foreign to the proletariat, in order to forge itself into a weapon for the advancement, and also for the maintenance of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the development of the socialist revolution.
Lenin led the revolution against tsarism and did not limit it to the scope of a democratic revolution after the “general rehearsal” of 1905. Russia, with its backward productive forces and social relations of production in which forms of personal subjection and economic structures linked to large-scale land ownership still survived under capitalism, was nevertheless, at the same time, an imperialist power. Lenin, applying a masterly analysis of the development of capitalism in Russia, understood and explained how the laws governing capitalist social formations generate a world system of contradictions where the weakest link in the chain can break it and unleash the revolutionary process.
He demolished the economistic analysis of the Second International and the Mensheviks which led to the false dilemma that, in a country with backward productive forces, as was Tsarist Russia, the proletariat had to wait until the bourgeoisie was willing or able to lead the democratic revolution, in order to support it. Instead of this theory of conciliation, he proclaimed the thesis of the “weakest link in the imperialist chain”, where all the contradictions would be condensed and would give rise to a new revolutionary situation which would force the proletariat to take the lead in the democratic revolution by hegemonising the process in order to establish a new regime under the dictatorship of the proletariat that would lead the revolution to socialism.
3. Mao Tse-tung.
Mao, at the head of the Party, in the midst of the line struggle, applying Marxism Leninism in a scientific and creative way, led the proletariat and the working and peasant masses of China to power, enriching the science of the revolution in the fields of philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism, one of his most outstanding contributions being the theory and practice of the Cultural Revolution which points out and clears the way for advancing, under the leadership of the proletariat, from socialism to communism. With him, our scientific ideology rises to a new summit, Marxism Leninism Maoism.
He assumed that Marxism Leninism is a living, constantly developing scientific ideology. In the field of philosophy his main contribution was in the field of the fundamental law of materialist dialectics: the unity and struggle of opposites. He developed and brought the theory of contradiction to new and higher heights, stating that the unity and struggle of opposites is not only universal (there is no phenomenon in nature, society and thought which is not determined by a set of contradictions from the beginning to the end of the process in which it exists), but also unfolds in the particular. Mao says: “this general character is contained in every individual character; without individual character there can be no general character.”, so that the universal contains the particular and therein concretises its existence: it is the particularity of contradiction, the synthesis of multiple contradictions, that differentiates one thing from another, one phenomenon from another.
With Mao we were able to explain and assume that every process unfolds in stages where the fundamental contradiction governs the process from beginning to end, but the principal contradiction marks the character of one of its stages. The displacement of a contradiction that serves as the principal contradiction and its replacement by another that comes to command the process as the principal contradiction, opens a new stage or phase and causes new contradictions to emerge that were hitherto unheard of.
He showed that, among all the contradictions present in every historical stage, but also in every thing or phenomenon, there is one which is principal in that it energises, determines and governs the others at that stage of the movement. He explained how, and in what way, in every contradiction there is, at a given moment, an aspect which is principal and determines its transformation, in such a way that – as the contradiction develops – each aspect can become its opposite and “change place”, changing the nature of the thing (The principal aspect is the one playing the leading role in the contradiction. The nature of a thing is determined mainly by the principal aspect of a contradiction, the aspect which has gained the dominant position. Mao)giving rise to completely new contradictions, or raising a hitherto secondary contradiction to a higher rank.
Against dogmatism, Mao established that it is not enough to determine the universals, the general laws; against pragmatism and empiricism, that we cannot remain in the short view of the particularity ofcontradiction, without finding its multiple connections and causalities; In such a way that the way to knowledge is to link the general with the particular, the universal with the concrete, assuming that – precisely – the development of the multiple contradictions that determine an object, phenomenon and process, generates its movement, its transformation and its qualitative leaps, on the path towards the new and superior. These contradictions, are – in essence – the stock and the unity of its determinations (of the unity of the diverse, as Marx said) that explain the phenomenon and the process that originates it, beyond the evident that permeates the senses in a first stage of knowledge. This conception of the world, then, is contrary to all relativism, but also to all dogmatism.
Mao showed that different contradictions must be dealt with and resolved by different methods.
In the field of political economy, Mao developed the theory of the contradiction between the productive forces and the social relations of production, as well as between the economic base of society and the superstructure, pointing out the way to resolve them within the framework of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Mao taught us that only by developing continuous revolutions in the realm of the superstructure and making use of its initiating role, in particular state power and ideology, is it possible for the proletariat to consolidate and develop the socialist economic base. In the same way, by showing how “the proletariat must lead everything” and that our politics born of the application of our world outlook must always be in command, he taught us that, without revolutionising the relations of production, before and even after socialist society has been fundamentally achieved, it is impossible to consolidate and continue the revolution, the change in the character of the productive forces, their liberation and their development in the service of the people and humanity. This approach has one basis: a profound understanding that the motor of history is the class struggle.
Another great contribution of Mao in the sphere of political economy is the identification of bureaucratic capitalism which articulates the social formations in the oppressed nations that were generated by imperialism in the last and highest stage of capitalism where the whole of the social relations of production are reproduced in the function and service of capitalism and the capitalists, of imperialism, the imperialists and their agents.
Within the framework of scientific socialism, the Chinese revolution and Mao as its most prominent leader, with his theory and practice of protracted people’s war where the support bases play a strategic role in the construction of the New Power, provided the proletariat with a scientific military line in which the decisive factor is the masses and not the weapons. Thus, he pointed out the way of revolution in the social formations and countries where the nations are oppressed, semi-feudal and semi-colonial: the New Democratic Revolution. It establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat in a political regime and under a state system that defines and establishes the power necessary to solve the agrarian problem and the problem of democracy, imperialist oppression and capitalist exploitation by the big bourgeoisie (bureaucratic and comprador) and the landlords. To fight imperialism and solve the national problem is, strictly speaking, the road of New Democracy. This is the road that the socialist revolution must necessarily follow in a nation like Colombia: the path of people’s war which will build a State System which, from New Democracy, establishes a Political Regime of joint dictatorship of the revolutionary classes, where, in any case, everything is defined by the fact that, in the hands of the proletariat, the leadership of the whole process and in each of its stages is in the hands of the proletariat, and it is there, the hegemonic class.
Key to the understanding and explanation of the strategy of the People’s War is therefore the concept of the “State System” and the system of government that Mao brings to scientific socialism. These are key concepts which allow us to think and make class alliances which, on both sides of the main contradiction, allow us to consolidate the proletarian character of the new state, its dictatorship and its democracy. It is the element that makes it possible to generate and deploy a strategy that covers, in the construction of the New Power, in the very development of the People’s War, the meaning of unity, leadership and commitment of the different class fractions or social strata that support the revolution, constitute its driving forces or can become its allies.
People’s War is, today, the road to socialist revolution. Only if we take it up will we advance towards that goal throughout the world, by demolishing the conditions under which pre-capitalist relations in the service of imperialism are reproduced and liquidating them, wherever they are.
Perhaps Mao’s most important contribution was made in the framework of the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, where after drawing lessons from the socialist process in the USSR and analysing the development of the class struggle during socialism in China, He argued that since the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat continues to exist in socialism, and that it is within the Party that the struggle between revolution and restoration becomes most bitter, it is necessary to develop the revolution in order to advance to communism through successive cultural revolutions led by the proletariat.
The work of Engels, Stalin and Gonzalo wasa very important contribution to the development of Marxism, and must therefore be taken into account when establishing the principles of our ideology, since in it we find not only essential foundations but also very valuable indicators that allowed Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to be clearly defined at the time.
Engels developedthe theoretical work together with Marx and contributed decisively and essentially to founding the science of revolution, giving it continuity, systematising and synthesising Marxism, and dividing the field from the ideologies foreign and hostile to it.
Stalin, guaranteeing the continuation of Lenin’s work (the line of the Bolshevik party), synthesised the theses and the axes of what could be called with certainty Marxism-Leninism, the second stage of Marxism, in hard fights against revisionism and its different variants which tried (and still try) to make it adown or fight it. Their work is invaluable in the process that gives foundations to the continuation of socialism. The defence of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the thesis of the possibility of advancing in the consolidation of socialism in a single country, as well as the clarities he established on the national question and the character of the revolutions after Red October, which inaugurated the epoch of the proletarian revolution, are the heritage of the proletariat and of the proletarian ideology which we cannot renounce. He made it clear how and why the liberation of the oppressed nationalities is impossible without breaking with imperialism, overthrowing the bourgeoisies in their countries and without the power there passing into the hands of the workers. Lenin characterises the course of the revolutionary processes after the October Revolution by unmasking and discarding the previous bourgeois conception of the principle of the self-determination of nations, which posed as a dogma “all power to the national bourgeoisie”, to give way to the new conception which sees in the organised masses of the workers the choice of the New Power, in such a way that the bourgeois national liberation movement (led by the bourgeoisie) no longer has any historical place and “the New Era of the new socialist movement of the workers and peasants of the oppressed nationalities directed against all oppression – and therefore against national oppression – against the power of the ‘own’ and foreign bourgeoisie, against all imperialism” is inaugurated. In these terms, the national question is converted from being a particular problem of struggle against national oppression to the general problem of ridding the nations, colonies and semi-colonies of imperialism, when the October Revolution establishes the links between the peoples of the world and groups them into a common camp of struggle against imperialism. Stalin makes clear the indissoluble connection between the national question and the problem of power, and also makes it clear that the bourgeois interpretation of the principles of self-determination and the defence of the fatherland, and not the principle itself, has been abolished.
The line of the PCP led the struggle in the international communist movement to defend the legacy of the masters of the proletariat and of the history of the international communist movement, proclaiming that – in these conditions – Marxism, far from being dead, had reached from Marxism-Leninism to a new, third and higher stage, Marxism Leninism Maoism, and concretised in practice the teachings of Mao, consequently developing a Protracted People’s War as the road to encircle the cities from the countryside by building revolutionary bases of support. The necessity of building the militarised Party of a new type, the concentric construction of the three instruments for the proletarian revolution (party-army-front), the organisations generated, the people’s war as the universal road to revolution in all countries, the identification of bureaucratic capitalism as the result of imperialist hegemony over the social formations that shape and shape the nations in the countries subjected to its economic, ideological, political and cultural domination, are important contributions of universal validity emanating from the revolution in Peru and from the line of the PCP.
None of these contributions and developments to the scientific ideology of the proletariat has developed without a struggle against foreign conceptions which ultimately represent the bourgeois class. Marxism Leninism Maoism has developed in struggle against various foreign or hostile currents. It is also to the credit of the masters of the proletariat that they have led this struggle. When the conditions of the time demanded it, they fought relentlessly against the revisionism of their time, defended with pen and rifle the achievements of the science of the revolution and, as we have seen from their own experience and the experience of the masses, developed in theory and practice the three integral parts of our ideology.
Knowing the development of our scientific ideology and with strong communist conviction, today we say, without fear: We are MLM! Long live Marxism Leninism Maoism, principally Maoism!
And, if we say mainly Maoism, it is because given Mao’s applications of the science of revolution, his developments, his contributions of universal validity, now become the key link to radically transform society, to bury imperialism, revisionism and class differences all over the world. Today we can say that Maoism armed the proletariat with a more all-embracing vision of power, with a deeper philosophical conception, with a scientific military line, that with its practice it clearly marked out the way to seize power in all the countries dominated by imperialism and that it outlined the strategy for advancing from socialist revolution to communism in the midst of successive proletarian cultural revolutions.
From the synthesis of the struggles of the peoples of the world made mainly by the three great masters of the proletariat, we draw important lessons which today we elevate to the status of principles of our scientific ideology made up of its three constituent parts: Marxist philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism.
PRINCIPLES THAT WE EMPHASISE IN OUR SCIENTIFIC IDEOLOGY
1. As Marxists, we assume and promote a worldview: the whole universe is made up of various forms of matter in motion, it is a knowable universe, with no room for supernatural forces or divine activity. All that exists is matter and energy is a form in which matter manifests itself. Consciousness and matter constitute a dialectical unity where matter exists independently of consciousness; it is the primordial, the source of all consciousness. That is why we say we are materialists.
Materialism demands that all phenomena be explained by their material causes. These causes derive from the objective laws that govern them, from the contradictions that found them and make them dynamic. But no phenomenon is caused by a single cause, as Marx put it: “the concrete is concrete because it is the synthesis of multiple determinations, the unity of the diverse”. To study and know a phenomenon is to find the multiple determinations, the complex of contradictions that give rise to it.
We affirm that the movement of matter, in any of its dimensions, levels or types, is given by the struggle of the contrary aspects which compose every thing or process; that is why we recognise contradiction as the fundamental law of dialectics, which is present in all phenomena of nature, society and thought. It is the law of contradiction, or the unity and struggle of opposites, which enables us to deduce not only that all things change and develop through quantitative and qualitative changes, but also to know the causes of this movement: why and how these leaps or transformations take place. Contradiction is universal and at the same time particular; it demands that particular methods be applied to particular contradictions in order to resolve them. Among the different contradictions existing at a given moment there is one that is fundamental, present throughout a whole stage; there is another that is principal, characterising a period, and others, secondary. Every contradiction has two aspects that make it dynamic; one of them is the main one, but in the process it can be transformed and change its place. We call this whole conception dialectical materialism.
2. In the process of the development of knowledge, material reality, practice, is the beginning of everything, the source of every idea, of every thought; the passage to the elaboration of concepts, from practice to theory, is an important step, where one passes from the sensory stage to the rational stage of knowledge. Then comes the passage from concepts, from consciousness to social practice, and in it, from revolutionary theory to revolutionary practice. This is the principle of the practice-transformation, the main link in the process of the development of knowledge. It is not only a question of interpreting the world, it is necessary to transform it. That is why we evaluate theory in the light of its correspondence with objective reality and, above all, in the light of its implications for the revolutionary transformation of the world. That is why we affirm that practice is not only the starting point for knowing the world, but also the criterion of truth wherethe human being demonstrates the transformative power of his thought. These are the reasons that make dialectical materialism a fundamentally practical philosophy.
To dialectical materialism, practice is not simply practice minus theory, but praxis or social practice. That is why in this process of development of knowledge and revolutionary transformation of the material world, we are aware that without revolutionary theory there is no revolutionary practice. Here, reality must be at the centre, and theory is an indispensable “tool” that helps us to interpret and transform it in a revolutionary way. Theory is produced under the Marxist principle of knowledge: the concrete analysis of concrete reality.
3. For dialectical materialism, reality exists independently of consciousness and therefore Marxism recognises the existence of objective truth. We assume, as Chairman Mao pointed out, that truth is objective and, at the same time, relative, in that the world is knowable and in permanent development. This does not deny the existence of absolute truth, understood as the totality of all relative truths ata given historical moment. The truth, however, may be consciously concealed given class interests, or it may not be within the reach of human beings at a given moment in history, insofar as the science has not developed to account for the aspect of reality in which the phenomenon under study is inscribed or because the accumulation of evidence makes it impossible to know it.
4. Holding to historical materialism as the application of dialectical materialism to the development of the world and human societies, we recognise the leading role of the masses inthe three types of movements that drive society: the struggle for production, the struggle for scientific experimentation and the political struggle for power throughout history. The masses have been the real protagonists and have rebelled and provoked leaps in society. It is they who have written the great chapters of history, in blood and fire, proving that, without them, no revolution will be possible.
As a matter of principle, we must not turn away from the basic masses even for a moment if we really want to transform society in a revolutionary way; it is essential to always consider their interests and put them above individual interests and those of small groups. To start from the masses and return to them means not only to grasp their experience, but to take up their wisdom; on condition that we are attentive to the need to criticise whatever of the ideology of the ruling classes takes shape in their practice and thinking. That is why the mass line must also be an exercise in the theory of knowledge that dialectical materialism and materialist dialectics synthesise.
The basic masses are the real builders and protagonists of history, they have always rebelled, but to achieve their real emancipation from the yoke of exploitation and oppression, they need their most conscious part, the Proletarian Leadership represented in the Party so that, in the dialectical unity masses-leaders, it is possible to conquer political power.
5. We agree that the contradiction between productive forces and social relations of production is the fundamental contradiction that has energised all human societies, and in capitalism this contradiction is expressed as thecontradiction between private appropriation and social production. Private ownership of the means of production, by generating private appropriation of the means of production, comes into permanent conflict with its indisputably social character. In capitalist societies, the fundamental contradiction expresses itself as the contradiction between capital and labour; thus, politically, in the form of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and as the anarchy of production within the whole of society and the organisation of production within each factory.
The productive forces, within the framework of social relations of production, concretise the organisation of labour and express the capacity to produce that society as a whole has. This capacity is intimately related to the way society organises production. In class-divided societies, the labour power of the masses, the main productive force, is exploited. Thus, only by changing its class character can the development of the productive forces be put at the service of society as a whole and the care of the planet.
On the other hand, since no society can propose the solution of any problem whose premises are not being generated, any leap in the relations of production which modifies the character of its productive forces can only take place on the basis of its objective material conditions, within which the present level of development of those productive forces is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the historical leap. Thus the intervention of the masses in the transformation of the relations of production is the decisive aspect in the revolution of the whole of the social relations of production.
In capitalist society, the development of the productive forces will be, as a principal aspect, at the service of capitalist accumulation, and only under the leadership of the proletariat will they break through their historical barriers to put themselves at the service of the whole of society and nature, thus having every possibility of doing so in the service of humanity and preserving the health of nature. This is the first aspect of the contradiction which has, in the other, an essential element: this development of the productive forces is at the same time the material basis for the construction of the new society.
6. In the society divided in classes, violence has been the midwife of history. The defence of the old institutions is carried out by the reactionary classes mainly through the violence exercised by their armed forces and other repressive institutions, seeking to drown in blood any outbreak of rebellion by the masses. Thus, as history teaches us, only by opposing revolutionary violence to reactionary violence is it possible to conquer the productive forces by changing their present character, liberating the people from the wage slavery imposed on them today by imperialism and other reactionaries.
We demarcate camps with those who resort to revolutionary violence to press for reforms of the old state and also with the foquist conception of war that supplants the masses in the struggle for their emancipation. For us as MLM the fundamental thing is the construction of the New Power through the gun or organised violence of the masses commanded by politics; but we know well that this is not possible if, at the same time, we do not destroy the old power. That is why we vindicate the revolutionary violence of the masses as the midwife of history and recognise that, except for power, everything is illusion.
7. We start from the recognition that in Colombia there is a revolutionary war of national liberation which, in spite of not being carried out under the principles of the People’s War, is a just war where the popular masses (until today, mainly the poor peasantry, the semi-proletariat of the countryside and the city and the petty bourgeoisie) are rising up against this landowning, big bourgeois and pro-imperialist system.
It is up to the communist organisations to start from this experience, to take it up critically, being critical also of ourselves, to learn from the experience gained by the masses and the revolutionary organisations which have already been waging war for several decades. But, above all, it means that we must commit all our efforts to building our own armed forces, which means organising the broadest masses of the countryside and the city in an armed manner, under the influence of the ideology of the proletariat. This will allow us to have ideological and political independence, advancing towards the transformation of this revolutionary armed struggle into a people’s war, where the core issue is the construction of the New Power.
8. In the midst of the class struggle we come to the present epoch: the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolution, characterised by the mutation of the capitalist system into more brutal and aggressive forms of accumulation, based on monopolies, on the traffic of capital throughout the world, on the fusion of banking capital with industrial capital which made a higher form of capital dominant: finance capital, where, as Lenin says: “the features of the epoch of transition from capitalism to a higher economic and social structure have taken shape and have manifested themselves along the whole line. What is fundamental in this process, from the economic point of view, is the replacement of free capitalist competition by capitalist monopolies”.
Economic crises, necessarily linked to immense social crises (including political and cultural ones) are a condition of capitalist society itself. They originate fundamentally in the anarchy imposed by an imperative concept which obliges every industrial capitalist to continually improve his machinery, on pain of perishing, by increasing production to levels ever further out of line with demand; and in the irreducible contradiction between the need for capital to reproduce itself, to increase its rate of production. The crisis of profit, which is limited and decreasing, in the face of the increase of capital destined for the means of production. These crises, which appeared in the essential dynamics of capitalism as cyclical crises, have become: a) increasingly closer in time, b) deeper and c) of longer duration.
But, at the same time, the leading cadres, the organic intellectuals of imperialism and the ruling classes, apply bold policies that impose material counter-tendencies, from which profound reforms in the political regimes and systems of government have emerged, which have made it possible to exacerbate exploitation and thus the class struggle and the material conditions of this struggle of the proletariat and the popular masses to build a new type of society. That is why we say that the conditions for revolution are maturing. For as the various imperialist forces and their instruments of power in all the existing capitalist states throughout the world open the doors to further oppression and exploitation, they also open the doors to the world proletarian revolution at the same time.
It is not true that the national states, the project and instrument of the bourgeoisie and its model of society, have disappeared or lost their functions. They are still, in every social formation, the “general staff” and the junta that administers the interests of the classes in power. Nor is it true that, in the so-called globalised world, these national states have given way to the existence of a single “world state”. In each cycle through which the imperialist phase of capitalism passes, the inter-imperialist contradictions are exacerbated and the partial and relative resolution of these contradictions gives rise to the hegemony of one of its alliances commanded by its gendarme. The current hegemony of US imperialism does not imply that this is no longer the way things are in the world.
As communists, we break ranks with the social-democratic, liberal, revisionist views, which proclaim that inter-imperialist contradictions no longer exist, that we are in the presence of a single great “multinational state”, that imperialism is only “a policy“; when what is really happening is that imperialism is a stage, the highest and last stage of capitalism, where the laws that govern its reality are the same as those of the old capitalist economy, now exacerbated in the task of accumulation by means of a greater extraction of surplus value, a more thirsty presence of parasitic capital and a greater margin of manoeuvre for the capture of all kinds of rents.
9. We affirm that revolution remains the main trend in today’s capitalist world. We also consider that there are three contradictions that must be highlighted in this situation of strategic perspective in which the whole of today’s societies are developing, governed by the objective laws of capitalism that determine them: the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples, between the different imperialist forces, and between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. All these contradictions develop simultaneously and in a spiral, where the first one remains the principal contradiction.
The contradiction between the various imperialist forces is resolved through imperialist aggression and wars; in these cases we communists must oppose reactionary war with revolutionary war, changing the character of the imperialist war, of wars of aggression, following the path traced by the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
The contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in each country is resolved by socialist revolutions through people’s war or armed insurrections led by the proletariat.
And finally, the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples or nations is resolved through democratic revolution, of new democracy or national democratic, through people’s war led by the Party of the Proletariat, taking into account the specific conditions of each country.
We affirm then, that People’s War applies universally, according to the character of the revolution and is specific to each country. The democratic and socialist revolutions and the successive cultural revolutions led by the proletariat are all part of the same road along which humanity must advance towards its strategic goal: Communism.
That is why all the wars sweeping the world (reactionary, revolutionary, wars of aggression, etc.) must be transformed into people’s wars which, taking on national forms, will have to express their own stategic unity under the exercise of genuine proletarian internationalism. The slogan of drowning imperialism in a sea of people’s wars is therefore just, because only people’s war can do away with imperialism and all reactionary classes! But, as we have stated: the historic responsibility to liquidate imperialism is not only the task of the organised masses of the oppressed nations, it is also the task of all revolutionaries and communists throughout the world.
10. The targets of our revolution in its first phase are imperialism, the big bourgeoisie (bureaucratic and comprador bourgeoisie), the landowners and all those who are agents of their policies. Whereas, the rural and urban working class, the rural and urban semi-proletariat, the middle and poor peasants, the left wing or lower layer of the petty bourgeoisie, are the classes and class sectors, friends and allies of the revolution in its first phase. The class forces that must be neutralised in the process of the revolution, at that stage, are the rich peasantry, the middle bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie in contradiction with the imperialist nations; if the proletariat does not neutralise them, they will become counter-revolutionary forces.
Our revolution is being built in the midst of protracted people’s war, generating a new economy, a new culture and a new political power in the form of a joint dictatorship of the revolutionary classes under proletarian hegemony, based on the organisation of the masses in the Front-New State. In order to understand the character of our revolution we have to take up the development of the Marxist theory of the state as it relates to the types of dictatorship or state systems. The state to be built, or the Front-New State, is the joint dictatorship of the revolutionary classes based on the worker-peasant alliance and led by the proletariat.
Our Revolution, in its first stage, aims to destroy the social relations generated by imperialism, to confiscate the economic and political power of the big bourgeoisie and to destroy landed property, eliminating the remnants and features of pre-capitalist relations; simultaneously advancing in some socialist tasks. It consists then of an anti-imperialist, democratic and agrarian revolution, wherever imperialism, the capitalism it generates and subordinates and the “backward relations” are the result of the process of social formation.
It is in and with the Protracted People’s War that this is made possible, the core of the PPW strategy being the construction of the new power, i.e. the revolutionary base of support, which is a key link in the step-by-step construction of the new society.
11. For the development and triumph of our revolution, the concentric, simultaneous and spiral construction of the three instruments: the Party, the army and the front is indispensable. Concentric: that the Party be at the centre directing its own construction, the construction of the army commanding the rifle and the construction of the front both in the countryside and its expression in the city; Simultaneously: that from the very beginning of the participation in the struggle, the Party and the other two instruments be built at the same time, as a way of guaranteeing that the Party assumes as its own the main strategic task, to direct the people’s war in function of the new power. And to have the cadres within one and the other to guarantee its leadership. It is only possible to build a real proletarian vanguard in the process where the cadres of the future party simultaneously lead the building of the party, the army and the front. Without the building of the army and the front everything is in the making if there is still no vanguard party.
The party is the highest or highest form of organisation where the best sons of the people go, it must be of professional revolutionaries, of cadres who devote all their efforts to the cause of proletarian emancipation, mainly communist cadres, fighters and administrators of the new power; who fight in all situations to maintain the ideological, political and organisational autonomy and independence of the party. It must be a Militarised Party; that is, forged in the midst of the people’s war, which assumes as its own the main task, the leadership of the PW in function of the new power. Its function is to draw up the general policies and lead the whole revolutionary process: its own construction, and of the army and the front. Although it is not a mass Party, its character is to be united to the masses and in the masses; that is to say, although only the best among the class enter it, it is closely linked to the masses; it is also responsible for collecting their scattered ideas, synthesising them and returning them to the masses in the form of orientations which guide their transforming action, thus ensuring that the Party always represents the interests of the masses. Its guiding principle is Democratic Centralism and within it the two-line struggle is constantly developing, which is nothing other than the struggle between the bourgeois ideology and the ideology of the proletariat in the ranks of the Party, which is the engine that forges the real proletarian leadership within it. The Party is the instrument of leadership of the proletarian revolution.
The new type of guerrilla army is the main form of organisation of the revolutionary masses, in the countryside and in the city. The principle “the party commands the gun and we will never allow the gun to command the party” applies. It must consist mainly of the poor peasants, the workers and the semi-proletariat. It has three basic functions: to fight, which is its main function; to mobilise, politicise, organise and arm the masses; and to produce.
The foquist experience has shown that, if the army is not thought of and developed as the main organisation of the masses, regardless of good intentions, revolutionary armies end up functioning as external elements and, at best, as real occupation forces that are looked upon with sympathy. A people’s war cannot be conducted without a close masses-party-army-front relationship.
In a real People’s War, the war is waged by the masses, it is the masses that the class enemy must face. That is why the army is the main form of organisation of the masses. The metaphor that “the revolutionary army must move among the masses like a fish in water” is misleading: in reality the masses are the fish and the water at the same time. Only in this way do the fighters become invisible in the eyes of the enemy. When revolutionary armed organisations operate “from the outside”, they are not able to generate the New Power. Only an invisible army, of fighters who have become invisible because they merge into the armed, organised and mobilised masses, will be able to defeat the powerful forces now at the service of imperialism and the big bourgeoisie throughout the world.
The front is the third instrument through which the new power is built on the road of the PPW. It materialises in the joint dictatorship of the revolutionary classes and class sections under proletarian leadership, i.e. the Front-New State. It brings together not only the workers and poor peasants, but also the semi-proletariat, the lower stratum of the petty bourgeoisie and all those revolutionary class sections, and at its head, the proletariat organised in its Party. It is concretised in the countryside as a new power, on the basis of the People’s Committees; and in the cities as a revolutionary movement, on the basis of the generated Party Organisms, whose aim is to raise the resistance of the masses, preparing the cities with people’s war. The Front-New State is being built up in the countryside until finally power is being realised throughout the country.
12. Against the state we start from the principle that the proletariat “cannot simply take over the state machinery and use it for its own ends, but must destroy it” and build on the ruins the new power. So then, while destroying the power of the enemy through the revolutionary war of the masses led by the proletariat, we must build the new power, the new state, by means of people’s committees made up of members of the Party, the army and representatives of the revolutionary masses.
Firmly believing that the ultimate goal is the suppression of all classes, of the relations of production on which they rest, of the social relations which they generate and of all the ideas which spring from this class system, we think that the essence of MLM is power, that the essence of Marxist theory is the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We confirm that this must be exercised in socialism by the working class in alliance with the poor peasantry, because the working class is the only class capable of emancipating itself and the rest of humanity, wiping off the face of the earth and forever, all kinds of oppression, exploitation, social classes and therefore the state alike. Dictatorship of the proletariat means dictatorship for the bourgeoisie and broad democracy for the masses of workers and peasants.
13. Because class struggle continues under socialism, there is therefore the danger of capitalist restoration. In the transition from the Socialist State to Communist society, the struggle of the overthrown reactionary classes to restore their power, together with the harmful inheritance of traditional habits and ideas which correspond to the old relations of production make it compulsory to intensify the ideological struggle throughout society and especially within the party, precisely because the capitalist restorers can turn it into their headquarters. In this way, revolutionary transformations in the superstructure become the principal aspect. Maoism teaches us how only through successive Proletarian Cultural Revolutions ledby the proletariat through its Party can the working class break away from the old ideas, lead the masses to retain power and become the rulers of socialist society and advance relentlessly towards the communist world. The line of consolidating socialism in each country as the base of support of the world revolution, continuing the revolution by the working class against the bourgeoisie and its reactionary ideology, is the line of fighting revisionism on a world scale.
That is why the construction of socialism in a single country is the revolutionary alternative to those who, in a mechanical way, see as the road to communism a supposed simultaneous and planetary uprising of the insurrectionary masses. Those who are seduced by such an illusion have ended up opposing the advance of the revolutionary process in each country because, they say, they “do not see the conditions” for success or sustainability. The struggle that establishes socialism in one country only makes sense in a planetary conception of people’s war that sees in its victory only a partial triumph that establishes a base of support for the world proletarian revolution. Every triumphant revolution which overthrows the bourgeois state in every present-day social formation must be understood as the building of a new base of support for the world revolution, in the development of people’s war on a planetary scale. Those who do not consistently assume this strategic perspective end up disavowing war, denouncing imperialist wars of aggression and renouncing the task of changing the character of these wars generated by capitalism in its present phase, i.e. by imperialism.
The fundamental content of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is the continuation of the revolution under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat towards communism. Therefore, it is the greatest contribution and development made by the Chinese Revolution and Maoism to the Marxist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
14. We consider the proletarian revolution in Colombia from its initial phases or stages as part of the World Proletarian Revolution.
The proletariat has no borders to divide it, it has no homeland, because capitalism and now its highest and last phase: imperialism, has erased the differences between the workers of the different nations and the antagonisms between the peoples. The workers of Colombia, those of Afghanistan, those of the Philippines, those of the USA, Germany or Japan are exploited. In this sense we share the view that the definitive emancipation of the proletariat is an international task, we are therefore proletarian internationalists, we support the liberation struggles of all the oppressed peoples of the world and every revolution for the emancipation of labour, without any chauvinism whatsoever.
We specify that the highest form of proletarian internationalism, the best way to be consistent with it, as Lenin put it, is the development of people’s war in each country, thus serving the advance of the proletarian revolution on a world level.
Thus, just as a proletarian Party is indispensable for the seizure of power in each country, we consider it necessary to have an international organisation that unites all the MLM organisations of the world. It is the permanent task of all communists to see to the construction of the International of a New Type, materialising the slogan “proletarians of all countries, unite!”, striving from today for the strengthening of the Maoist Revolutionary Movement, correctly developing and deepening the line struggle until a new basis of unity is achieved, which will necessarily lead to purification and a new and necessary qualitative leap.
Given the characteristics of our social formation, which demand from the proletarian revolution in Colombia the resolution of the agrarian problem, the solution of the problem of democracy (generated by gamonalismo) and the defeat of imperialism (i.e. the solution of the national problem), we unhesitatingly chose to follow the path laid out by Chairman Mao: to develop the revolution in the countries oppressed by imperialism, through the Protracted People’s War. Its core aspect is the construction of the new power, the building of revolutionary support bases, whose strategy is to encircle the cities from the countryside. Without liquidating the national problem, without defeating imperialism, it is not possible to move to socialism and, to achieve this, the people’s war that creates the new power is the only possible road. The application of MLM to our concrete conditions will allow us to generate and develop significant contributions to the world proletarian revolution.
Aware that Marxism develops and flourishes in open struggle against opportunism and other incorrect tendencies, we know that it is our duty as Maoists to wage a hard struggle both within the world and national communist movement and within our own Organisation against Revisionism as the principal danger of the proletarian revolution, which is currently expressed in Colombia in many guises: the dispersion of the proletarian forces, armed revisionism, dogmatism, social democracy, corporatism. We know that it is only by unleashing the conscious struggle against these evils and especially in our case against an incorrectly assimilated Marxism, essentially metaphysical and evolutionist, that we Maoists will be able to link up with the war in order to transform it.
(Proposal of principles for the entire international communist movement)
1. The first basic principle is that the proletariat needs a real communist party. That is its most important weapon. A single party of the proletariat, independent of all the parties of the bourgeoisie, imperialism, the landlords. “The proletariat”, wrote Lenin, “has no other weapon at its disposal in its struggle for power than organisation. The proletariat, scattered by the rule of anarchic competition within the bourgeois world, crushed by forced labour, in the service of capital, constantly thrown into the ‘abyss’ of the most complete misery, of brutalisation and degeneration, can only become and will inevitably become invincible, provided that its ideological union through the principles of Marxism is strengthened by the material unity of organisation, which founds the millions of workers in the army of the working class”.
2. The very life of the party is struggle: internal line struggle aimed at unity; struggle to break with revisionists and opportunists; struggle to unite the nation for the revolution; struggle against the targets of the revolution.
3. The basic unity of the party of the proletariat is ideological unity. The Marxist Leninist Maoist ideology. The principles determine who is in the ranks of the proletariat.
4. The working class, the proletariat, is the gravedigger class of capitalism.
5. For the principles to become a reality they must be accompanied by the organisational principles of democratic centralism: 1) Elective character of all Party leadership organs from the bottom up of a strictly conspiratorial character; the selection of members who due to compartmentalisation cannot be elected from the bottom up, must be made by co-optation or selection from the constituted leadership organs; 2) Periodic accountability of the management of the Party organs to the corresponding Party organisations; 3) Severe Party discipline and submission of the minority to the majority; 4) Unconditional binding of the resolutions from the higher organs to the lower organs and from the party to all of the members 5) thewhole party is subject to the congress and the principles; 6) line struggle.
6. The party is a vanguard party to lead the proletariat and the masses to the construction of power, so that the masses can liberate themselves. The transformation of society is the work of the masses themselves. The masses make history. Even if the Party were the best vanguard detachment and magnificently organised, it could not live and develop without having links with the masses (including the masses without a party), without multiplying and strengthening these links.
7. The front mustunite the bulk of the masses who are ready for the resistance struggle or to fight against the targets of the revolution and the construction of the new power.
8. A revolutionary army is needed todestroy the power of the enemy. In the oppressed countries it is the main way of organising the masses.
9. The construction of the Party, of the Army as the principal form of organisation of the masses and of the Front as the concretisation of proletarian power must be concentric and in a spiral, in such a way that the party is in command throughout the process with the advances and setbacks that are generated in history.
10. violence has been the midwife of history. Social transformation is only possible through revolutionary violence, applying the MLM military line and a coherent mass military line. The main form of struggle is the PW. To be makers in a nation like Colombia is to organise and do agitation and propaganda through the PPW.
11. There can only be revolution with a genuine revolutionary theory. The single Party of the proletariat must be forged in the science of revolution, Marxism Leninism Maoism. “Without revolutionary theory,” Lenin said, “there can be no revolutionary movement either….. Only a party led by a vanguard theory can fulfil its mission as a vanguard fighter”.
12. It is a Party forged to lead the proletariat and the revolutionary masses in the social revolution, for the building of a New Power by the proletariat and the revolutionary masses. The revolution “cannot simply take over the state machinery and use it for its own ends, but must destroy it”.
13. Dictatorship of the proletariat: joint dictatorship in democratic revolutions led by the proletariat; proletarian dictatorship in socialist revolution.
14. Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In a dialectic of restoration and counter-restoration; to prevent the restoration of capitalism or to prepare the masses for counter-restoration.
15. Developing the Leninist idea of politics as a concentrated expression of economics, we assume that politics is the command (applicable at all levels) and political work is the lifeline of economic work; which leads to a real management of political economy and not just economic policy. Politics commands the gun.
16. The revolution in each country as part of the world proletarian revolution. The proletariat has no country. Urgently create a communist international to help spread MLM and found communist parties to develop people’s wars and build new power in the oppressed nations as well as in the imperialist countries.
Construct or Reconstitute Parties of the Proletariat and the New Communist International, around the principles, in the heat of the People’s War, through the struggle between two lines and in close connection with the masses!
Long live Marxism Leninism Maoism!
For the construction of the New Communist International, long live the Unified Maoist International Conference!
MLM Party Organisation
1We have taken up, in quotation marks, essential MLM statements from different texts. In doing so, they may take the form of paraphrases that contribute to the clarity of the discussion. Except for an explicit note referring to a particular text, they all have this character.
iOur (ci-ic.org) translation, from the foreword by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU (Instituto de Marxismo-Leninismo adjunto al CC del PCUS) of the 1981 Spanish publication of the Selected Works Vol. 5. by Editorial Progreso.