The Marxist-Leninist World Movement of comrade Enver Hoxha

USA

 

 

USA

 

Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists

U.S. Neo-Revisionism as the American Expression of the International Opportunist Trend of Chinese Revisionism

1979

 

 

 

The Red Thread Running Through All the Fights and Controversies of the Last Decade in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Movement Has Been the Struggle Between Revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and Opportunist Neo-Revisionism

 

 

Today the “three worlds” theory has become an object of scorn and hatred all around the globe. This so-called “theory” is nothing but the social-chauvinist stand of sellout and betrayal and a mishmash of tired-out revisionist theses. It is despised and condemned by the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations the world over. Everyone is denouncing the path of the “three worlders,” which is the path of collaboration with U.S. imperialism and world reaction, the path of the instigation of imperialist wars and the cheering on of U.S. imperialism to build more and more weapons of mass destruction, the path of betraying the anti-imperialist struggles and the socialist revolutionary movement under the pretext of “striking the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism.” Life itself is continually providing new proofs of the bankruptcy of this theory. The recent establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations and Deng Xiaoping’s tour of the U.S. have provided yet another proof of the utter bankruptcy of the “three worlds” theory. These events were both part of and a new stage in the warmongering U.S.-China alliance. Today those who do not see the revisionist and counter-revolutionary nature of the theory of “three worlds” are blind. And those who profess to see the counterrevolutionary nature of this theory, yet who spend their time throwing unspeakable filth against Comrade Enver Hoxha, the Party of Labor of Albania and all the world’s revolutionary Marxist-Leninists, those who profess to denounce “Deng’s three worlds theory” while upholding “Mao’s three worlds theory” and flaunting all the basic theses of “three worlds-ism” as their banner, these gentlemen are equally with the other “three worlders” nothing but renegades and traitors to the proletariat and the revolution, special agents for the Chinese revisionists, wrecking crews for imperialism and revisionism.[1]

Thus all over the world the Marxist-Leninists have put fighting the “three worlds” theory and Chinese revisionism as one of their crucial tasks. It is an essential part of the fight against modern revisionism and social-imperialism. One of the big questions that has therefore occupied the minds of the American revolutionaries is – how could it come about that the arch-revisionist theory of “three worlds” could be taken up right inside the movement against modern revisionism? How did the theory of “three worlds” manage to infiltrate into the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement? In the U.S., in the late 60’s and early 70’s the advanced section of the revolutionary activists from the mass movements took up Marxism-Leninism and opposition to modern Khrushchovite revisionism. What does the emergence of the Klonskyite social-chauvinism and Pentagon-socialism of “directing the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism” and the disgusting spectacle of the “RCP,USA’s” anti-communist attacks on Comrade Enver Hoxha and socialism in Albania clarify about the struggle that has been waged in the past decade inside the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement? This question cannot be avoided. The Marxist-Leninists did not fight Khrushchovite revisionism in order to become the “left” wing of the warmongering U.S.-China alliance. And the answer to this question will provide graphic proof that behind all the fights and conflicts in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement, the red thread running through all the sound and fury was the development of the struggle between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and opportunist neo-revisionism. The red thread was the progressive consolidation of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, from the founding in 1969 of the single nationwide Marxist-Leninist center, the nucleus of the party, and on towards the reconstitution of the Marxist-Leninist Party, and the continual degeneration of neo-revisionism into open counter-revolutionary “three worlds-ism.” The struggle was between carrying the repudiation of modern revisionism through to the end, versus conciliating revisionism and falling into a cozy accommodation with opportunism and imperialism. It was between building the single, monolithic Marxist-Leninist Party of the proletariat, and factionalizing the movement through first advocating “pre-party collectives” and the existence of the “pre-party situation” and then building “many opportunist parties.” It was between propagating and applying Marxism-Leninism and propagating and applying liberal-labor politics and opportunism on the pretext that the masses are allegedly too “backward” to support the revolution. And history shows that the mainstream within the neo-revisionist trend was encouraged, given ideological direction, financed, and in an all-round way fostered as a special agency of Chinese revisionism. History proves that U.S. neo-revisionism is in the main the American expression of the international opportunist trend of Chinese revisionism. (One major neo-revisionist organization, the “Communist” League which now calls itself the “Communist Labor Party of the United States of North America,” has turned out to be a special “left”-sloganeering agency of Soviet revisionism. This is very significant, as it shows that Russian revisionism and Chinese revisionism are twin brothers, variants of the common trend of modern revisionism. In a note at the end of this article, the role of the “CLP” as neo-revisionism from the “left” is briefly outlined.)

The truth is that Chinese revisionism, which was corroding the Communist Party of China from within, has also long propped up, financed, bribed and danced quadrilles around almost all the opportunist trends in the American “left” movement. It has sought to subvert the powerful movement against modern revisionism, to divert what it could into the path of support for Chinese revisionist ambitions and to smash the rest of the movement. To this end, it has used the mainstream of neo-revisionism as its special agency, in particular, the Klonskyite October League, now calling itself the “Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)”; the Revolutionary Union, now calling itself the “Revolutionary Communist Party, USA”; and a host of smaller imitators and competitors.

The recent open alliance of Chinese revisionism with U.S.-led Western imperialism and the ravings of Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping, as well as the principled struggle of the Marxist-Leninists against social-chauvinism and the “three worlds” theory, have clarified a number of questions. It has clarified, among other questions, the reason for the Chinese slander campaign against the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists. For years, our friends and sympathizers have asked us, and our enemies have taunted us, with the following type of question: why do the Chinese denounce the COUSML[2] and the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) (the main predecessors of the MLP.USA)? Why in the 70’s did the Chinese reprint from or report on in their publications the OL (“CPML”), the RU (“RCP.USA”), the Guardian, RCL(M-L-M) (Baraka’s group), the LPR, the Black Panthers, the IWK (“LRS(M-L)”), from Barry Weisberg’s MLOC (“CPUSA/ML”), and from countless others, including fascist bourgeois journals, but never from the ACWM(M-L) or the COUSML? Why from a fairly early period did all the visitors to China come back and say that the Chinese told them that the COUSML was “trotskyite,” “ultra-left,” “dogmatic,” “police,” “Soviet agents,” and other outrageous concoctions worthy only of the imperialist political police? This torrent of abuse from China rained down on our heads. The Chinese circulated it through the dirtiest channels, through rumor and gossip, through opportunists and even out-and-out bourgeois personal ties. As well, the Chinese and their special agencies denounced us at various times as “clones” or “pawns” of our fraternal party in Canada or as “competing to get the Albanian franchise.” The truth is that the only relation the Chinese revisionists can imagine is the one between masters and slaves, between the Chinese revisionist center and its slavish special agencies. They have no idea whatsoever of proletarian internationalism and are opposed to the principled unity of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. So they regarded that anyone who is not their “pawn” must in fact be someone else’s “pawn.” This slander campaign caused confusion. The neo-revisionists played the Chinese revisionist game and took up the slanders from China heart and soul. “China said so” was the watchword of all these worthies. They tried to create the impression that there was something wrong, something out of place, with the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists. It is of course now clear to everyone who wishes to see that there was nothing out of place about ACWM(M-L) and the COUSML. On the contrary, these Chinese revisionist slanders were in fact a mark of honor for the COUSML. They were proof that the Chinese revisionists felt that they could deal with the various opportunist sects in the U.S., but saw their mortal enemy in the camp of the U.S. revolutionary Marxist-Leninists led by ACWM(M-L) and the COUSML.

For a long time we thought the opportunists were slandering China in attributing these wild anti-communist ravings to the Communist Party of China. We held that the Chinese communists would never say such terrible things as they were reported to have said. We thought that these things were perhaps the deeds of a few revisionist bad elements but must be mostly the concoctions of the various opportunist dogs who visited China. And indeed, the Chinese invited a whole string of opportunists. They invited the out-and-out Khrushchovite revisionist journalist Wilfred Burchett, various Eurocommunists, reactionary bourgeois, “concerned Asian scholars,” etc. But now it is crystal clear that the Chinese revisionists were indeed a never-ending source for the opportunists. The Chinese revisionists very quickly found out that the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists would never agree to give up the revolution, to stop the struggle against modern revisionism, to act as a tool of Chinese social-imperialism, or to join with the Nixons and Carters in a warmongering U.S.-China alliance. They realized that whatever formulations the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists might temporarily adopt from the Chinese Communist Party, that nevertheless the Marxist-Leninists held nothing sacred besides the purity of Marxism-Leninism, the interests of the proletariat and oppressed masses, and the cause of the revolution and of socialism. Therefore the Chinese revisionists undertook the struggle against revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and engaged in wrecking activities to split and dismember the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement.

Thus the history and development of the struggle in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and neo-revisionism is bound up with the development of Chinese revisionism. To rebuild the Marxist-Leninist Party in the U.S., it is therefore crucial to fight Chinese revisionism and “three worlds-ism.” We must place special stress on denouncing “our own” social-chauvinists and “our own” domestic “three worlders” and local agencies of Chinese revisionism. The “three worlds” theory is not just an erroneous “international line,” nor is Chinese revisionism just a question of policies relating to China’s internal degeneration. No, first and foremost, “three worlds-ism” is a whole system of opportunist and revisionist views and practices on every question. It is all-round collaboration with the bourgeoisie on all questions. The open warmongering and Pentagon-socialism of the Klonskyites is a blatant open exposure and further development of the hidden revisionist and class-collaborationist nature that has always been the essence of neo-revisionism. It is this whole arsenal of opportunism that must be fought, or else the Marxist-Leninist movement runs the risk of simply putting a pleasing coat of paint over the rust spots and of allowing the opportunist rust to continue its hidden corrosion under the surface. It is necessary to use the condemnation of “three worlds-ism” in order to assess the history of the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism in the U.S., to expose the corrosive and reactionary role of neo-revisionism, and to defend the Marxist-Leninist teachings on all questions of the revolution. This is the only path worthy of Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries. Leninism teaches that the social-chauvinism and blatant counter-revolutionary sophistry of the opportunists is no accident. Analyzing the social-chauvinism of the time of World War I, Lenin taught that:

Throughout the existence of the Second International, a struggle was raging within all the Social-Democratic parties, between their revolutionary and the opportunist wings. In a number of countries a split took place along this line (Britain, Italy, Holland, Bulgaria). Not one Marxist has ever doubted that opportunism expresses bourgeois policies within the working-class movement, expresses the interests of the petty-bourgeoisie and the alliance of a tiny section of bourgeoisified workers with their ’own’ bourgeoisie, against the interests of the proletarian mass, the oppressed masses. ...

The war has speeded up this development and transformed opportunism into social-chauvinism, transformed the secret alliance between the opportunists and the bourgeoisie into an open one. ...

Opportunism and social-chauvinism have the same politico-ideological content – class collaboration instead of the class struggle, renunciation of revolutionary methods of struggle, helping one’s ’own’ government in its embarrassed situation, instead of taking advantage of these embarrassments so as to advance the revolution. If we take Europe as a whole and if we pay attention, not to individuals (even the most authoritative), we will find that it is the opportunist trend that has become the bulwark of social-chauvinism, whereas from the camp of the revolutionaries, more or less consistent protests against it are heard from almost all sides.[3]

Thus, as Lenin put it in “The Collapse of the Second International,” “The first and most fundamental demand of scientific research in general and of Marxist dialectic in particular is that a writer should examine the link between the present struggle of trends in the socialist movement.. .and the struggle that preceded it for whole decades. He stressed that,

It is perfectly obvious that social-chauvinism’s basic ideological and political content fully coincides with the foundations of opportunism. It is one and the same tendency. In the conditions of the war of 1914-15, opportunism leads to social-chauvinism.[4]

In this way Lenin showed how to find the roots of the great betrayal of the social-chauvinists in the history of the decades of development of opportunism corroding the Second International from the inside, and how the struggle between the internationalists and the social-chauvinists was a continuation of the struggle between revolutionary Marxists and opportunists of the previous period.

Lenin’s teachings hold true today with regard to the “three world-ers” and social-chauvinists in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement. The emergence of the open and undisguised social-chauvinism of “directing the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism” and of the whole jingo “three worlds” arsenal of the Klonskyites and other opportunists came about as a result of the corrosion of neo-revisionism for years inside the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement. The fairy tale by some that the Klonskyites and “three worlders” were once staunch revolutionaries, the fairy tale that the development of the “three worlds” theory was that “...opportunism has begun to spring up in groups and parties that once opposed revisionism consistently and stood for revolution,” is a mockery of the truth.[5] In theory, it is a denial of the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, while in practice it expresses a desire to maintain neo-revisionism, to rescue it from the fiasco of its exposure as social-chauvinism and “three worlds-ism,” to return to the former hypocrisy and continue the struggle against the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists.

The development of neo-revisionism itself should be seen in the light of a struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism that has been going on for decades inside the American Marxist-Leninist movement. The neo-revisionists and Klonskyites are new Browderites. Ever since the mid-30’s the Browderite liberal-labor politics has remained a curse subverting the American working class movement. Browderism fights the revolution and communism by reducing the working class movement to a “left” wing to the “liberals,” a trade union caucus or a “special interest group” inside the big “Rooseveltian” coalition of the Democratic Party. And if no “liberals” are around, the Browderites define one shade or other of the fascist imperialist politicians as “liberals.” The Browderites turn the workers over to the tender mercies of the labor bureaucrats, the lawyers and the “liberals” and make it their job to perfect the government apparatus to suppress the workers’ struggles, to praise the National Labor Relations Board and work for new forms of labor-management-government cooperation. They similarly betray the Afro-American movement. They deprive it of proletarian leadership as Browderism liquidates the party as a revolutionary organization and reduces the workers’ and communist movement to bourgeois trade unionism. They work hand in hand with the government in shackling the Afro-American movement to the civil rights commissions, to the lawyers and courts, to the state-paid strata of poverty pimps and “militant” bureaucrats, to the opportunist theories of “non-violence” and cultural nationalism, and to the allegedly “liberal” bureaucracy of the federal government. Browderism was never thoroughly repudiated in the U.S., and its corrosion left the Communist Party of the USA easy prey to Khrushchovite revisionism. The Progressive Labor Party was set up as a Marxist-Leninist center against revisionism, but it was unable to settle accounts with modern revisionism, Browderism and liberal-labor politics. It eventually stopped fighting revisionism and it degenerated into a trotskyite sect.

Neo-revisionism in essence has proved to be Browderite liberal-labor politics, reformism, and flimsy conciliation to all opportunism and any fashionable deviation, but it also has a rather thin “left” veneer, which is an eclectic broth of special sectarian principles, anarcho-syndicalism and straight-out idealist sophistry. Neo-revisionism finds its typical theoretical elaboration in a series of infamous, anti-Marxist dichotomies, such as: the party is counterposed to the mass movement, or vice versa; the economic struggle is counterposed to the political struggle; the alternatives are given of bourgeois trade unionism or of denouncing the economic struggle as economism; bourgeois intellectualism and idealism are given as the alternatives to pragmatism and utter mindlessness and usually both are combined. Over a period of time, neo-revisionism developed a whole series of anti-Marxist doctrines and spread confusion on every issue. Whenever it develops as a serious trend, though, its essence as liberal-labor politics and Browderism is clearly visible.

Chinese revisionism too went through a process of development before giving rise to open social-imperialism. Since the time of Hua Guofeng’s coup d’etat and of the new elevation of Deng Xiaoping, the bankruptcy of Chinese revisionism is clearly evident, but there are longstanding roots of Chinese revisionism and even the U.S.-China alliance has been in preparation since 1971. Facts prove that Mao Zedong was not a Marxist-Leninist classicist and that the Chinese Communist Party vacillated in the crucial struggle against modern revisionism. Today part of the assessment of the course of the struggle against modern revisionism is the reassessment of the role of the Communist Party of China and the uncovering of the longstanding roots of Chinese revisionism. An important role in this reassessment has been and will be played by the serious study of such important Marxist-Leninist documents as the July 29, 1978, Letter of the PLA and Enver Hoxha’s brilliant new book Imperialism and the Revolution.[6]

This article is the first in a series which will analyze many of the basic opportunist and revisionist theses which are common to both U.S. neo-revisionism and Chinese revisionism. These theses provided the theoretical basis for the emergence of open social-chauvinism. The struggle against these revisionist theses is linked up inseparably with the struggle against Chinese revisionism. Where did the reactionary theses of ”’third world’ peoples are more revolutionary than North Americans and Europeans,” “revolution is not on the agenda for the U.S.,” “’United Front Against Imperialism’ as the strategy of the American revolution,” “hiding the party behind the united front,” “the party emerges spontaneously from the mass movement,” “the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists are dogmatists, trotskyites and imperialist agents,” “the revisionists and opportunists are middle forces that can and should be united with” come from? These theses did not spring up by spontaneous generation, by unfortunate accident, but were imported into the Marxist-Leninist movement from definite sources, from a melange of social-democracy, Khrushchovite revisionism, Browderism, Castroism and even directly from imperialist ideologues. They were saved from death, revived and taken over by Chinese revisionism. The struggle against social-chauvinism and the task of reconstituting and constantly strengthening the Marxist-Leninist Party requires the elimination of the revisionist theses. The proletarian revolution requires the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism.

Among the neo-revisionist fallacies to be discussed in this series “U.S. Neo-Revisionism as the American Expression of the International Opportunist Trend of Chinese Revisionism” are the following:
– the opposition to the struggle against revisionism and opportunism
– the denial of the role of the Marxist-Leninist Party
– the skepticism about the proletarian revolutions in the West
– Castroite and New Left predecessors of the “theory of three worlds”
– the slanders and abuse of the great Marxist-Leninist, Stalin
– the theory of “the united front against imperialism” as the strategy of American revolution

Postscript: A Note on the “CLP, USNA”

The mainstream of the neo-revisionist trend is nothing but a special agency of Chinese revisionism. But there is one major neo-revisionist organization that is an exception to this general rule, namely the “Communist Labor Party of the United States of North America,” formerly the “Communist League.” This rotten neo-revisionist grouping proved in the long run to be a left-sloganeering front for Soviet revisionism rather than a direct agency of the Chinese revisionists. The existence of a Soviet agency in the neo-revisionist trend is very significant, as it shows the close affinity between Chinese revisionism and Soviet revisionism. Chinese revisionism is not, as it presents itself, the fiercest enemy of modern Khrushchovite revisionism but is simply a competitor of Soviet revisionism inside the camp of world revisionism. No matter what differences of detail exist, differences which are important to take into account tactically and for the better and more complete development of the struggle to annihilate these revisionisms, nevertheless these differences only reflect the interests of the different bourgeoisies that adapt revisionism to their use and do not contradict the fact that in its essence modern revisionism forms an integrated world opportunist trend.

In the early 1970’s, the “CLP.USNA” had its own variant of neo-revisionism. As opposed to the Klonskyites and the RU (“RCP, USA”), it formed “neo-revisionism from the left.” Where the “right” neo-revisionists set the mass movement against the party, the “left” neo-revisionists set the party against the mass movement. The “CLP” then used its stand “for” the party to present itself as the staunchest advocate of Marxism-Leninism and the real opponents of New Leftism. But in fact the basic point was that the “CLP” agreed with the other neo-revisionists in the basic neo-revisionist dichotomy of counterposing the party to the mass movement. In practice therefore, its “party” amounted to the same loose Browderite educational association as that of the Klonskyites. As a matter of fact, the “CLP,” despite its “left” posturing, was in the past and is today deeply mired in the same liberal-labor politics of the neo-revisionists. Indeed, in practice it has always proved itself rightist to the extreme. It justifies this with the typical confusion-mongering of the neo-revisionists, through setting up a typical neo-revisionist dichotomy of counterposing revolution to reform. However, for the sake of even greater confusion-mongering, Nelson Peery expresses this as a counterposition of revolutionary work to insurrection. According to Nelson Peery, “We are now able to set aside the dialectical conception that has shackled our movement, the concept that we are going to build a ’revolutionary’ party. ... No ’revolutionary’ party has ever led a revolution.”[7] Nelson Peery explains that this is because, to him, revolutionary work and “the revolutionary aspect of the Party” means “only...the struggle for reforms,” while he pontificates that an insurrection is necessary for revolution. Thus anything but the struggle for reforms is put off to the day of the insurrection, while day-to-day work is totally reformist, which is indeed the actual practice of the “CLP.” Its social base too is no different from the other neo-revisionists. With reference to its membership and not just its sophistical method of arguing, it can be called the “Communist Lawyers Party.” It completed its own exposure when it took up a pro-Soviet social-imperialist stand. Furthermore, despite the “CLP’s” very “left” criticism that the “CPUSA” was never a Marxist-Leninist party at any time in its history, it turned out that the “CLP” actually is mesmerized by the “socialism” of the “CPUSA” and the Soviet social-imperialists. They say that the “CPUSA” was and is not a Marxist-Leninist party but is an honest fighter for “socialism”! And thus this neo-revisionist sect openly took up the banner of unity with modern Soviet revisionism and with the “CPUSA.”[8]

Endnotes

[1] This is a reference to such groups as the “Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.” In the articles of early 1979 entitled “Does the ’RCP,USA’ Oppose the Theory of ’Three Worlds’?,” The Workers’ Advocate showed that the “RCP,USA” was still a diehard defender of “three worlds-ism” despite its repeated promises to give up this foul counter-revolutionary theory. The “RCP.USA” had squirmed and turned and advocated that there were two different “three world” theories, the bad one of Deng’s and the allegedly good one of Mao’s. And the “RCP.USA” continued to flaunt all the basic theses of “three worlds-ism.” At the same time the “RCP.USA” had put itself forward as the theoreticians of Mao Zedong Thought and wrote one treatise after another elaborating Mao Zedong Thought and treatise after treatise slanderously abusing the Party of Labor of Albania. The inability of the “RCP.USA” to give up the “three worlds” theory was thus yet another proof that the roots of the ”three worlds” theory lie in Mao Zedong Thought and that Mao Zedong himself was a “three worlder.” The Workers’ Advocate tore to shreds the gross opportunism and neo-revisionism of the “RCP.USA” repeatedly in articles throughout 1978 and 1979.

 

 

[2] The Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists (COUSML) was the predecessor of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA.

 

 

[3] V.I. Lenin, “Socialism and War,” Lenin on War and Peace, pp. 18-19, and in Collected Works, Vol. 21, pp. 309-10.

 

 

[4] V.I. Lenin, “The Collapse of the Second International,” Collected Works, Vol. 21, pp. 238, 242.

 

 

[5] This fairy tale was actively propagated by, among others, the MLOC/“CPUSA(M-L).” The particular quotations concerning the revolutionary past of the “three worlders” cited in the text are from Revolution Will Surely Triumph, a statement by the Central Committee of the MLOC in Nov. 1977. The role of the MLOC/“CPUSA(M-L)” in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement is discussed in our pamphlet Against Social-Democratic Infiltration of the Marxist-Leninist Movement –A Study of the Origin, History and Present Role of the Social-Democrat Barry Weisberg and his MLOC/“CPUSA (M-L),” Chicago, May 1979. Parts II and III of this study and related material have subsequently appeared in The Workers’ Advocate. As well, Chapter 4 of our pamphlet Reply to the Open Letter of the MLOC discussed in detail MLOC’s views concerning the revolutionary past of the “three worlders.”

 

 

[6] Since this article was written, the investigation and assessment referred to in the text has led to further valuable conclusions. The article “Mao Tsetung Thought Is Anti-Marxist-Leninist and Revisionist” appeared in the March 1979 issue of The Workers’ Advocate and was followed by other articles elaborating the denunciation of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought. It was Mao Zedong Thought that was the roots of the “three worlds” theory and of Chinese revisionism generally. The article “Mao, Browder and Social-Democracy – Mao Zedong and the American Ultra-Revisionist Browder Supported Each Other and Shared a Common Platform of Social-Democracy” appeared in the December 5, 1979 issue of The Workers’ Advocate. It showed that Mao’s search for a U.S.-China alliance began much earlier than 1971. As early as World War II, Mao was looking towards U.S. imperialism and dreaming of the post-war development of a bourgeois democratic capitalist China under the wing of U.S. imperialism. But the alliance sought by Mao and the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party did not then materialize. Thus the above text is correct in asserting that the present U.S.-China alliance was in preparation since roughly 1971.

 

 

[7] Nelson Peery, “Closing Remarks,” Proletariat, Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall, 1978, p. 38. Note that this issue is mislabelled Vol. 4, No. 2 on the cover.

 

 

[8] See pages 37-38 of this pamphlet for more discussion of “CLP’s” variant of neo-revisionism in the article “Neo-Revisionism Denies the Necessity for and the Role of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Proletariat.”

 


Neo-Revisionism Opposes the Struggle against Revisionism and Opportunism

 

 

Today the “three worlds” theory is being condemned by honest revolutionary forces all over the world as a reactionary, counterrevolutionary theory. The American “three worlders” have gone completely bankrupt. They have degenerated into open social-chauvinism and anti-communism. They call on the proletariat to ally itself with U.S. imperialism to “direct the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism.” And they are engaged in gangster-style attacks against socialist Albania and the Marxist-Leninist Party of Labor of Albania. This open betrayal is not an unfortunate accident or a quirk, but the inevitable result of years of corrosion by the opportunist trend of neo-revisionism, the trend of the Klonskys and Avakians.

History shows that U.S. neo-revisionism is in the main the American expression of the international opportunist trend of Chinese revisionism. Right from the start, the neo-revisionist corruption was encouraged, given ideological direction and in an all-round way fostered by the Chinese revisionist leaders. The first article in this series showed how the basic struggle in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement in the last ten years was between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and opportunist neo-revisionism and how the Chinese revisionists waged war on the Marxist-Leninists and organized the neo-revisionists into a contingent of their reactionary camp. This article and following ones will analyze a number of the basic neo-revisionist theses and show how they are also theses of Chinese revisionism. These basic neo-revisionist fallacies have provided the theoretical basis for the emergence of the open social-chauvinism of the “three worlders.” The struggle against neo-revisionism is therefore inseparably tied up with the struggle against Chinese revisionism and “three worlds-ism.”

This article will deal with one of the principal neo-revisionist tenets: opposition to the irreconcilable struggle against revisionism and opportunism of all hues. The neo-revisionists conciliate with modern revisionism and opportunism and with every fashionable anti-Marxist-Leninist deviation under the banner of such theories as “opportunism is a middle force to be united with” or under the pretext of fighting “ultra-leftism” and “dogmatism.” Furthermore, it is now perfectly clear that these neo-revisionist lines are precisely those of Chinese revisionism.

This thesis of neo-revisionism, as neo-revisionism as a whole, has always met staunch opposition from the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists. Over the last decade, the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists led by first the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) and then by the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists (and now by the MLP.USA), have always put the struggle against modern Khrushchovite revisionism and all forms of revisionism and opportunism in the center of their activity. And it is as part of this glorious tradition that the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists are now waging a great irreconcilable struggle against social-chauvinism, “three worlds-ism” and Chinese revisionism.

Neo-Revisionism Conciliates Revisionism and Fights Marxism-Leninism Under the Pretext of Fighting the “Ultra-Left”

U.S. neo-revisionism has always speculated with the slogan of fighting “ultra-leftism.” In reality, however, it is the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists who have waged a consistent struggle against adventurism, anarchism, terrorism and left phrasemongering, as well as against Browderite liberal-labor politics and right opportunism and revisionism. The neo-revisionists have prattled on endlessly about the horrors of the so-called “ultra-left” only to raise a yellow banner under which to fight Marxism-Leninism and to systematically denigrate and belittle the struggle against modern revisionism and opportunism of all hues.

In the past the neo-revisionists openly polemicized that the “ultra-left” was the “main danger.” For example, Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Union (predecessor of the “RCP.USA”) maintained that: “The main weakness of proletarian revolutionaries and revolutionary organizations...is our infantilism.... This tends to produce two related errors: dogmatism and sectarianism.” (Red Papers 2, 1969, p. 18) And from the beginning, on writing Red Papers 1 in 1969, the RU held that while “revisionism, or right opportunism” may be the “main long term danger,” “’left’ opportunism” represents the “immediate danger.” Michael Klonsky and the OL also held that: “While modern revisionism, or right opportunism is the main ideological enemy which confronts the world revolutionary movement, within the newly-emerging communist movement here, the main danger is leftism’ and sectarianism.”[1]

Hence the neo-revisionists replaced the struggle against revisionism with the struggle against “ultra-leftism.” The neo-revisionists only paid lip service to the struggle against revisionism. The struggle against revisionism was for the rest of the world, but not for the U.S. It was for the long term or for any other time you wish, but not for the present. In order to “prove” these hypocritical and American exceptionalist pseudo-theories, the neo-revisionists have often pointed to the degeneration of the Progressive Labor Party. According to the right-wing prejudice of the Michael Klonskys and the Bob Avakians, the PLP collapsed because it allegedly exaggerated the struggle against opportunism which caused it to land in “ultra-left” extremism and sectarianism. But in fact the important lessons of the degeneration of the PLP prove that the opposite was the case. The PLP failed to settle accounts with the right opportunist, liberal-labor politics of Browderite revisionism. For example, PLP’s numerous trade union programs and its whole agitation made clear the right opportunist stand of the PLP with respect to work in the working class movement and the PLP’s failure to emerge from the liberal-labor traditions fostered by Browderism. Nor did the PLP, for instance, fight the social-democratic, revisionist and anti-communist politics and ideology of New Leftism but declared it “objectively progressive.” In reality, it was to hide its conciliation with revisionism that the PLP sought refuge in wild and provocative activities. Soon the PLP stopped fighting revisionism and opportunism altogether and quickly collapsed into a trotskyite sect.

On the basis of concentrating their fire against the “ultra-left,” the neo-revisionist leaders have protected their own liberal-labor Browderite political line. And they have united with every right opportunist element imaginable – the pro-Khrushchovites, the Castroites, the Titoite yellow journalists of the Guardian, the reactionary cultural nationalists, the trotskyites, etc. – in an unholy alliance against the forces of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. The neo-revisionist struggle against the so-called “ultra-left” has always meant unity with opportunism in war against Marxism-Leninism itself. Therefore, when the Marxist-Leninists called for the unity of the Marxist-Leninists in one party to struggle against the revisionist betrayal, they were viciously opposed by the neo-revisionists who slandered this stand as “ultra-left,” “dogmatist” and “trotskyite,” as “ahead of the masses” who allegedly were “not ready” for the building of the Marxist-Leninist party but were still in the “pre-party stage,” etc. Or when the Marxist-Leninists carry out Marxist-Leninist revolutionary agitation in the working class, as opposed to the neo-revisionist trade unionist pablum, the neo-revisionists denounce this too as “dogmatic,” “turning off the masses” and so forth.

While neo-revisionism has gone through a number of face lifts and now professes to hold that revisionism is the “most dangerous,” this war against the “ultra-left” continues to date.[2] The “CPML” social-chauvinist “three worlders” are viciously maligning anyone and everyone who opposes their social-chauvinism and their anti-Leninist theory of “three worlds” as a “dogmatist,” “idealist,” and a “trotskyite,” and the “RCP,USA” is hysterically raving against the so-called “dogmato-revisionism” of the Party of Labor of Albania and all genuine Marxist-Leninists. As well, the professional conciliators with the open social-chauvinists, Barry Weisberg’s MLOC, has declared the so-called “infantile left” – the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists – to be the most “anti-Leninist” of them all, and hence presumably far worse than the open social-chauvinists.[3]

This view, that in the U.S. movement the problem has been the “ultra-left,” is completely in accord with Browder’s preachings against the “dogmatism” of the American Marxist-Leninists. But this Browderite view has also been directly imported and nurtured from Beijing. From the beginning of their activities, the neo-revisionist big shots have come back from China to lecture about the errors of “the line of all struggle and no unity” with the opportunists, and other forms of so-called “sectarianism.” Numerous opportunist “friends of China,” William Hinton and others, would come home from China after discussions with the Chinese leaders and write books and give speeches against so-called “ultra-left” deviations and “dogmatism,” and in support of the right opportunist fallacies of neo-revisionism such as “the party emerging spontaneously out of the mass movement,” etc.

After the downfall and death of Lin Biao in 1971, the Chinese revisionists began a big campaign against so-called “ultra-leftism” and soon restored to power the ultra-revisionist Deng Xiaoping and co. The Chinese revisionists also began big international gossip campaigns against “ultra-leftism” and the U.S. neo-revisionists stepped up their attacks on revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. In this period, the Klonskyites and other neo-revisionists with a China connection made a tremendous racket about “Lin Biao’s ultra-leftism” in order to attack the Marxist-Leninists. And even now, the social-democratic publicist, Barry Weisberg, is writing diatribes against the “infantile leftism” of the COUSML which he claims “for ten years...followed the line of Lin Piao.”[4]

It should be pointed out that this campaign against the so-called “ultra-left,” fomented in China and pursued by the neo-revisionists in the U.S., was one of the indispensable ideological prerequisites for the formation of the ultra-right, counter-revolutionary U.S.-China alliance over the last decade.

 

 

Neo-Revisionism Holds That Opportunism Is a “Middle Force” to Be United With

Neo-revisionism has always waged its struggle against revolutionary Marxism-Leninism under the pretext of an allegedly Leninist struggle against the “ultra-left” in order to make it appear that the neo-revisionists too fight at least some sorts of opportunism. But in fact, in both theory and practice it has considered revisionism and opportunism as a “middle phenomenon” that can and must be united with.

According to the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, the advance of the revolution and the consolidation of the party require resolute struggle against opportunism and the driving out of the influence of the opportunists from the working masses. The imperialist “liberals,” the social-democrats and reactionary labor aristocrats, the modern revisionists and social-chauvinists of the Khrushchovite, Chinese and other trends, the trotskyites, the cultural nationalists and opportunists of all hues, are agents of the bourgeoisie within the workers’ and revolutionary movement. As Lenin said: “It has been shown in practice that working-class activists who follow the opportunist trend are better defenders of the bourgeoisie than the bourgeois themselves. Without their leadership of the workers, the bourgeoisie could not remain in power.”[5] The prevalence of opportunism can only give rise to the subversion and disorganization of the revolutionary movement, to its betrayal at all crucial moments and to the corruption and destruction of the communist party of the proletariat. Therefore a most determined struggle to win the working masses away from the influence of the opportunists is absolutely imperative to unite the working class and all toiling people in class struggle against the bourgeoisie and advance the revolution. The Marxist-Leninists do not split the workers’ struggles or factionalize the mass movements on the pretext of fighting revisionism. But the struggle of the Marxist-Leninists must be directed at destroying the influence which revisionism and opportunism have in the working class and oppressed masses.

The neo-revisionists, however, advocate conciliation and unity with opportunism and do not agree with stern, consistent, long-term struggle against it. They counterpose to such a struggle vague phrases about “uniting all who can be united against the main enemy.” But they do not clarify with these phrases with whom they are so interested in “uniting” because in fact they are for unity with the opportunists. In both theory and practice neo-revisionism is for unity with and subordination of the revolutionary movement to the sold-out agents of monopoly capital: to the Democratic Party “liberals,” the social-democrats and labor traitors, to the various revisionists and social-chauvinists, the cultural nationalists, the trotskyites, etc.

The neo-revisionists have not only adopted a conciliatory attitude to opportunism in practice, but have directly denied the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the struggle against opportunism as well. This was repeatedly illustrated in sharp relief in the course of the struggle against the social-chauvinist thesis of “directing the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism” that broke out in 1976. For example, at that time the two main neo-revisionist groupings, the “RCP.USA” and the OL (now the “CPML”), engaged in polemics over the question of Stalin’s teachings on the necessity of directing the main blow at opportunism.

In his article “The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists,” J.V. Stalin described the “fundamental strategic rule of Leninism” in this way:

It is the recognition of the following:

1) the compromising parties are the most dangerous social support of the enemies of the revolution in the period of the approaching revolutionary outbreak;

2) it is impossible to overthrow the enemy (tsarism or the bourgeoisie) unless these parties are isolated;

3) the main weapons in the period of preparation for the revolution must therefore be directed towards isolating these parties, towards winning the broad masses of the working people away from them.[6]

And speaking of the strategy in his classic work Foundations of Leninism, Stalin wrote:

Direction of the main blow: isolation of the petty bourgeois democrats, isolation of the parties of the Second International, which constitute the main support of the policy of compromise with imperialism.

These writings of Stalin are testimony to his unfailing loyalty to Leninism. It was Lenin who taught the proletariat: “Opportunism is our principal enemy.”[7] And:

The most dangerous of all in this respect are those who do not wish to understand that the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism. [8]

If the neo-revisionist “theoreticians” had read Stalin correctly they would have realized the burning necessity to organize a most stern and relentless struggle against revisionism and opportunism of all shades as Lenin also called for. But neo-revisionism drew an opposite conclusion.

For their part, the OL leaders, the learned professors of the “ultra-left is the main danger,” of course did not raise Stalin’s teachings on the “main blow” to strike a blow at revisionism but to justify their own social-chauvinism. They clumsily juggled with the phrase “main blow” to attempt to make a case for their own most traitorous revisionist line of calling on the U.S. proletariat to “direct the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism.” Naturally there is nothing in common between the principled struggle against revisionism and the social-chauvinist alliance with U.S. imperialism on the pretext of fighting Soviet social-imperialism. Indeed in their struggle against modern revisionism the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists have stressed the capitulation of revisionism to imperialism and have flayed the social-chauvinism of the “CPUSA and other revisionists. But just as the Chinese leaders attempt to “justify” their warmongering counterrevolutionary alliance with U.S. imperialism against Soviet social-imperialism under the thinnest pretext of “anti-revisionism,” so Klonsky too follows the same course. While he unites with social-democracy and the opportunists of all sorts, he would have us believe that his alliance with U.S. imperialism is allegedly based on “anti-revisionist” principles! The shameless hypocrisy of the social-chauvinists knows no bounds!

The neo-revisionist “theoreticians” of the “RCP” responded to OL’s social-chauvinist arguments by denouncing Stalin for being wrong about the need to fight opportunism in the first place. The “RCP” brazenly declared: “...the RCP does not agree with the formulation in these articles by Stalin.... The correct stand of Marxist-Leninists is to unite all who can be united against the main enemy...to win over as much of the middle forces as possible and to isolate and expose enemy agents in the course of aiming the main blow at the main enemy.... The question of the main blow, however, is not merely a semantic one. The question is whether or not the workers and revolutionaries of every country direct their fire against the main enemies they face and unite all possible social forces, even wavering ones, against that enemy.”[9]

Thus Bob Avakian and co. openly polemicize against Stalin and Marxism-Leninism by arguing that opportunism should be considered a “wavering” or a “middle force” to be “won over” and united with. This outrageous diatribe against Stalin and the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the struggle against opportunism speaks mountains for the entire outlook, approach and conciliatory spirit which neo-revisionism has always held towards modern revisionism and opportunism of all hues. But this anti-Marxist-Leninist sophistry of the U.S. neo-revisionists is not in the least bit original. It has been lifted word for word from the documents of the revisionist leaders of the Communist Party of China.

In 1956, at a time when the Chinese leaders were praising the renegade Khrushchov in his vile work of, as the Chinese party put it at the time, “firmly correcting Stalin’s mistakes,” the Communist Party of China wrote:

...Stalin put forward a formula that in different revolutionary periods, the main blow should be so directed as to isolate the middle-of-the-road social and political forces of the time. This formula of Stalin’s should be treated according to circumstances and from a critical, Marxist point of view.... Our experience teaches us that the main blow of the revolution should be directed at the chief enemy to isolate him, while as for the middle forces, a policy of both uniting with them and struggling against them should be adopted...efforts should be made to shift them from their position of neutrality to one of alliance with us.... In light of this doctrinaire error, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China...formulated a policy of ’developing the progressive forces, winning over the middle-of-the-roaders, and isolating the diehards.’[10]

Thus, the Chinese leaders threw overboard Stalin’s teachings on the struggle against the compromisers and opportunists by absurdly counterposing this struggle to the need for unity against the main enemy. Rather than discussing the actual issue at stake, they play with the purely verbal contradiction between directing the “main blow” at the main enemy and directing the “main blow” at the compromisers and opportunists. The Chinese “theoreticians” use such vague and bourgeois terms as “middle-of-the-road...forces” in order to confuse everything. With such terms as “middle-of-the-roaders” they mix together such different forces as on one hand allies of the proletariat and intermediate strata such as the toiling peasantry and non-proletarian working masses, the progressive section of the intelligentsia, and so forth, and on the other hand the opportunists, compromising parties and even the reactionary bourgeoisie and imperialists themselves. Furthermore, the Chinese “theoreticians” also lump together indiscriminately with all the other forces the entire “national bourgeoisie” and thoroughly confuse the question of the possibility under certain conditions of a temporary alliance with or neutralization of certain sections of the bourgeoisie in a struggle that is not yet at the socialist stage. Naturally in practice the various types of these “middle-of-the-road” forces are generally mixed together. It takes a hard struggle by the proletariat and its party to sort out these forces, rally the allies of the proletariat behind its leadership and isolate the compromising parties, opportunists, reactionary bourgeoisie and imperialists. Indeed Stalin stresses that one of the key reasons to direct the main blow at the compromising parties is precisely for the purpose of winning over the peasantry, the broad masses of the working people, etc., that is, to win over the intermediate strata. But the whole point of the vague Chinese formulas is to give up the task of fighting for proletarian hegemony and to justify unity with the opportunists or even directly with the reactionary bourgeoisie under the thin pretext of unity with the “middle forces” or “middle-of-the-roaders.” This is why the Chinese revisionists and their followers are fond of such vague formulas as “uniting all who can be united” or “middle-of-the-road...forces.” This is why even when the Chinese revisionists phrasemonger with more proper Marxist terms, they give them a philistine interpretation and use them as equivalents to their usual vague generalities. The Chinese leaders were never in favor of a stern struggle against the opportunists and modern revisionists nor of proletarian hegemony in the revolution.

What the Chinese were demanding in their polemic against Stalin was unity with revisionism and the abandonment of proletarian hegemony. Instead of uniting the people in struggle against the main enemy, a task which includes winning the working class and people away from the influence of revisionism and opportunism, in place of that, the CPC pursued a line of winning over the revisionists and uniting with them under the hoax that revisionism is a middle phenomenon.

This conciliatory policy explains the constant zigzags and vacillations of the Chinese party in the course of the struggle against Titoite, Khrushchovite and other trends of revisionism. This line explains how in the past the Chinese leaders wanted to include the Soviet revisionists inside the “united front against U.S. imperialism.” Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, in 1964, even signed a message to the Khrushchovite traitors declaring that, despite the differences they had with each other (differences that were claimed to be between Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism!), the CPC and the Khrushchovites would always be on the same side in the end. Even at the time when the Chinese party finally came out and took an open stand against Khrushchov, it still found something good in the ultra-revisionist polycentrism of the Italian revisionists and numerous other renegades.

And today, inside China’s “united front against Soviet social-imperialism,” the Chinese leaders have included along with the U.S. imperialists and the biggest capitalists and reactionaries, the worst revisionist scum as their “comrades,” such as the Titoites and other revisionist dregs in power, and they are increasing their connections with the Italian, Spanish and other Eurocommunists as well.

These developments bring to light the bankruptcy of the Chinese course of conciliation of revisionism. They show in practice the rotten essence of the theory that “opportunism is a middle force to be united with.”

 

 

Endnotes

[1] The Call, “Building a New Communist Party in the United States” March-May 1973.

[2] With the rehabilitation of the diehard revisionist Liu Shaoqi and the rapid rightward gallop by the present-day counter-revolutionary ultra-revisionist Chinese leadership and with the rapid and shameless merging of “our own” domestic “three worlders” with social-democracy, even the pretense of the fight against revisionism and right opportunism is being dropped by the Klonskyite “CPML” and similar groups.

[3] See Unite! February 15, 1979. The MLOC/“CPUSA(M-L)” has also recently declared new campaigns against the “left.” For example, for nearly a year now since the latter part of 1979, it has been running a protracted campaign to “Defeat the ’Left’ in Order to Fight Right Deviations.” Once again, the Weisberg social-democratic sect is marching in parallel with the similar campaigns against the “left” currently being carried out by the Klonskyites. These campaigns against “ultra-leftism” have as one of their basic aims to eliminate anything that stands in the way of practical unity with the main social-democratic currents.

[4] See Unite!, Special Supplement, March 1, 1979, p. 3.

[5] V.I. Lenin, “Report on the International Situation and the Fundamental Tasks of the Communist International,” Collected Works, Vol. 31, p. 231.

[6] J.V. Stalin, “The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists,” Problems of Leninism, p. 142, and in Works, Vol. 6, p. 402.

[7] V.I. Lenin, “Report on the International Situation and the Fundamental Tasks of the Communist International,” Collected Works, Vol. 31, p. 231.

[8] V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Chapter X.

[9] Revolution, “OL Bloodies Own Nose with Its ’Main Blow,’” February 1977.

[10] Communist Party of China, The Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Foreign Language Press, Peking, Third Printing, 1961, pp. 15-16.

 

Neo-Revisionism Denies the Necessity for and the Role of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Proletariat

 

Introduction

 

Today the “three worlders” stand exposed as rabid social-chauvinists, as cheering squads for the Pentagon and for Chinese social-imperialism. They are nothing but a bunch of class traitors who are openly flaunting their alliance with and love for the international imperialist bourgeoisie. Inevitably the question arises: where did this blatant social-chauvinism come from? How was it able to pass itself off as part of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement?

The answer lies in the history of over a decade of corrosion of the Marxist-Leninist movement by the neo-revisionists, by the conciliators of revisionism who hid themselves among the ranks of those claiming to uphold Marxism-Leninism and oppose revisionism. The neo-revisionists originated by adapting the opportunist ideology of “New Leftism,” the negative line inside the youth and student movement, and by translating it into “Marxist”-sounding terminology. The neo-revisionists held revisionist and opportunist views on all major questions: they negated the role of the Marxist-Leninist party, they were profoundly skeptical of the revolutionary capacity of the proletariat, they opposed revolutionary agitation with “militant” economism, they replaced Marxist theory with both pragmatism and idealist sophistry, and so forth. Neo-revisionism was the curse thrown at the Marxist-Leninist movement by Browder and by the “left” wing of the “Democratic” Party. The stern life and death struggle against “three worlds-ism” requires exposing the roots of the social-chauvinist class treason of today’s militarist-socialists in the long neo-revisionist corrosion of the Marxist-Leninist movement.

This series of articles exposes the history of the crimes and anti-Marxist Browderite theses of neo-revisionism. It stresses that the U.S. neo-revisionists were not an exceptional American product, unrelated to anything else going on in the world, but part of an international opportunist trend. The neo-revisionists were systematically fostered and backed by the Chinese revisionists. The mainstream of neo-revisionism has always been followers of Chinese revisionism. U.S. neo-revisionism is, in the main, the American expression of the international opportunist trend of Chinese revisionism.

Part One of this series discussed the general relation between U.S. neo-revisionism and Chinese revisionism. The second article denounced the neo-revisionist negation of the struggle against revisionism and opportunism, their Khrushchovite pretext of the fight against the “ultra-left,” and their social-democratic thesis that opportunism is a “middle force” to be united with. This article, Part Three, condemns the neo-revisionist war against the party concept, their negation of the role of the party and of the vital significance of party-building. This was the first point of conflict between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and neo-revisionism, the first point on which the neo-revisionists exposed their revisionist essence. The neo-revisionists focused the main thrust of their attack against the unity of the Marxist-Leninist movement. They cursed and ridiculed the party and counterposed building the mass movement to building the party. They pretended that upholding party-building was sectarian, but time has proven that it is precisely those who negate the party who are the biggest splitters, brawlers and factionalizers and who are responsible for the creation of dozens of ultra-sectarian sects and “parties.” To win time for their dirty work, the neo-revisionists held that unity into one center was “premature” and “unprincipled,” and set forward the path of “developing their own trend.” And lo and behold, today they have indeed developed their own trend, the trend of great-power chauvinism and Browderism, the trend that is reviled and spat at all over the world as counter-revolutionary “three worlds-ism,” as the trend of Chinese revisionism.

Today we are on the verge of the founding of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA. This will be a momentous event. It will be the greatest victory of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism in the U.S. against the neo-revisionist and Chinese revisionist sabotage. The campaign for the founding of the Marxist-Leninist Party should be used to inculcate the party concept in the proletariat and among the new vigorous activists coming up to fight social-chauvinism. It is a time to heap scorn on the fashionable Browderite mocking at the party. The history of the neo-revisionist war on the party concept must never be forgotten. All the Chinese revisionist, neo-revisionist and polycentrist negations of the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the party must be resolutely condemned.

 

The Origins of the Struggle Between Revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and Neo-Revisionism on the Question of the Party Concept

The 1960’s were a time of great upsurge of the revolutionary mass movements. The monopoly capitalist system was shaken to its core. But this struggle proceeded without Marxist-Leninist leadership. The “C”PUSA had long ago been thoroughly corroded by Khrushchovite and Browderite revisionism and had become an anti-Marxist force. The first anti-revisionist center, the Progressive Labor Party, proved unable to settle accounts with revisionism, stopped fighting revisionism and degenerated into a trotskyite sect. Undaunted, a whole new wave of advanced elements from the revolutionary mass movements persisted in struggle. They summed up their experience of the struggle and came to see that the mass movement could not be oriented correctly without Marxism-Leninism and came to understand the betrayal of the modern revisionists.

The task before these activists was to unite in order to reestablish a genuine revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party. The first principle for Marxist-Leninists is to unite into one party. This is not a matter of abstract moralism, but a burning practical question. Without a single center, the Marxist-Leninist movement lies paralyzed, helpless and open to infiltration. Without a proletarian party, there can be no talk of the independent political action of the proletariat. In a very real sense, there is no such thing as a Marxist-Leninist without or independent of a Marxist-Leninist party. There may be Guardian-ite revisionists who flaunt themselves as “independent radicals,” there may be Titoites, polycentrists, New Leftists, and other class traitors who pride themselves on their “independence” from the party concept, but their “independence” is independence from the proletariat and total dependence of the ideologies and agencies of the bourgeoisie.

In May 1969 the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) was formed as the single nationwide Marxist-Leninist center. Prior to the ACWM(M-L)’s formation, the comrades from the Cleveland Workers Action Committee carried out work to have the activists and groups claiming opposition to revisionism and adherence to Marxism-Leninism participate in the first Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists in Regina, Canada in May 1969. After this Conference, the comrades from the Cleveland Workers Action Committee took the initiative to found the ACWM(M-L) and to contact all the main anti-revisionist activists and organizations. The ACWM(M-L)’s purpose was to form a single center for all Marxist-Leninists and to prepare for the reconstitution of the party. It immediately took up a big campaign for the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, opposed the ideological confusion of New Leftism, Castroism, modern revisionism and other opportunist ideology, took up Marxist-Leninist work in the mass movement, and grew rapidly to a nationwide organization.

But the ACWM(M-L) was opposed right from the start by an anti-party trend. The big shots and authorities from the leaders of the student movement refused to unite “on principle.” Thus the fight between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and neo-revisionism first broke out into the open on the question of the Marxist-Leninist party and the crucial importance of party-building. And the subsequent total bankruptcy of the neo-revisionists with their emergence as open social-chauvinists and raving “three worlders” is vivid proof that the neo-revisionists negated the party because they were opposed to the revolution and opposed to developing the independent (from the bourgeoisie) political activity of the proletariat.

 

The Anti-Party Theory of “Pre-Party Collectives”

The neo-revisionist “theoreticians” refused to unite on the grounds that unity would be allegedly “premature” and hence “unprincipled.” They held that the path of disunity, of development via scattered “pre-party collectives,” was the only allegedly “principled” path. This was the anti-party theory of the “pre-party situation,” which called for the development of dozens of scattered, “independent,” “pre-party formations” and “pre-party collectives.”

The Bay Area Revolutionary Union (predecessor of the Revolutionary Union and subsequently of the “RCP,USA”) set forward the “pre-party collective” theory in Red Papers 1. The BARU wrote: “AT THE PRESENT TIME, THE BUILDING OF COLLECTIVES ON A LOCAL BASIS, AND THE EXCHANGE OF EXPERIENCES BETWEEN THEM, CAN CONTRIBUTE THE MOST TO THE CREATION IN THE NEAR FUTURE OF A MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY.” (p. 9, capitals as in the original) The BARU held that “Between the collectives: at first, informal exchanges of information and experience, and occasional joint regional political activity. Ideological discussion, summing up of work, and criticism should be increasingly carried on between the collectives, to achieve ideological unity and the basis for organizational merger. Then the collectives can develop organizational structures to coordinate and supervise work....” (p. 9) On the grounds that the Progressive Labor Party was allegedly “guilty of systematic ’left’ opportunism,” the BARU held that revisionism was the “main long-term danger” but that “’left’ opportunism” was “an immediate danger.” (p. 18)

The Klonskyite October League (the OL and OL(M-L) were predecessors of the “CPML”) tried at various times to pretend that it upheld the orthodox Marxist-Leninist teachings on the party as against the Revolutionary Union. But in fact the OL held to the exact same “pre-party collective” theory to justify its own wrecking and splitting activities. It set forth its views in the three-part series entitled “Building a New Communist Party in the U.S.,” which appeared in the March, April and May 1973 issues of The Call. The article denounces party-building as “ultra-leftism” and says that ”...within the newly-emerging communist movement here, the main danger is ’leftism’ and sectarianism.” It counterposes party-building to ”...the work that must be done on a day to day basis,” and in particular to economism and senile rightism, which was and is OL’s “day to day work.” It hypocritically talks of “The present situation where the forces are largely scattered and locally based,” and then shamelessly demands a continuation of the policies responsible for this situation. Just like the RU, it says “To help forge unity, as much practical cooperation as possible between the different groups should be encouraged. As they begin to develop unity in the course of practical work, organizational unity will become more of a reality.”

The basic features of the theory of “pre-party collectives” were as follows: setting the mass movement against the party, or vice versa; advocating many groups, “many parties”; holding to the theory of “developing our own trend”; and negating the struggle against revisionism and opportunism. We will discuss these neo-revisionist theses one by one.

 

The Neo-Revisionist Theory of Spontaneity, of Counterposing “Building the Mass Movement” to “Building the Party”

The neo-revisionists shamelessly mocked the party concept and the calls for unity of the Marxist-Leninists and sneeringly referred to “declaring the Party in a closet.” For the neo-revisionists there were two categories, “party” and “mass movement,” that stood in irreconcilable antagonism to each other. The neo-revisionists counter-posed “building the mass movement” to “building the party.” The revolutionary Marxist-Leninists talked of and carried out the building of the party in the thick of the class struggle, in the midst of the revolutionary mass movement. But the neo-revisionists could not understand this, as they opposed the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the necessity of the party to release the initiative of the proletariat and its allies. The neo-revisionists preferred to follow the theory of spontaneity, that the party springs spontaneously from the growth of the mass movement and hence that the proliferation of numerous “pre-party formations” would allegedly give rise to a unified party.

This theory of spontaneity is also a key theory of Chinese revisionism. Thus, for example, a major article in commemoration of the centennial of the Paris Commune appeared in the March 19, 1971 issue of Peking Review, entitled “Long Live the Victory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat!” This article was written by the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily), Hongqi (Red Flag) and Jiefangjun Bao (Liberation Army Daily). This article was used by the Chinese revisionists to undermine the building of the new Marxist-Leninist parties. While paying lip service to the need for the Marxist-Leninist party, the article blurts out: “The mainstream of the revolutionary mass movement is always good and always conforms to the development of society.” Under the cover of demagogy about the mass movement, this statement in fact takes a position of unprincipled pragmatism, of unbounded opportunism. It sets forth the same economist position denounced by Lenin, namely: “That struggle is desirable which is possible, and the struggle which is possible is the one that is going on at the given moment.”[1] In other words, if the leadership of SDS imposes New Leftism on the revolutionary students, then New Left ideology, the reactionary saboteur of the student movement, can be declared the “mainstream” and hence must be progressive. And if the Marxist-Leninist activists fight hard and win great prestige for Marxism-Leninism, then that becomes the new “mainstream” and one should temporarily change colors and adapt oneself to Marxist-Leninist phraseology. And if mocking at the party is fashionable, then it too is “always good and always conforms to the development of society.”

With such an idea, there is no role for the organizing, mobilizing and guiding role of the party. At most there is room for a party in name, but not one in deed. And in fact the course of the so-called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shows that Mao Zedong and the other leaders of Chinese revisionism believed it possible to do without the party. In this massive struggle, Mao Zedong did not use the party as a mobilizer of the masses. On the contrary, the youth and student masses were to rise up without the party. The party and various mass organizations were actually dispersed in the early stages of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and later on the army was called in to calm down the resulting chaos. We supported the Cultural Revolution because we wished to see the downfall of the diehard revisionist and capitalist elements who had usurped key positions in the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state power. We and other Marxist-Leninists were correct to support the Chinese people at this critical and dangerous moment when China was under a brutal and savage attack from the imperialist-revisionist encirclement. But the question arises: how could the Chinese Cultural Revolution succeed without the leadership of the party or of the proletariat?

It is sometimes rationalized, for example by the “RCP.USA,” that the Party couldn’t be used, as power had been usurped in the Party by the most reactionary elements. But the “RCP.USA’s” argument is simply an evasion of the issue, as in such a case the reconstitution of the party would be the crucial and immediate task for the development of the revolution, but this clearly was not the conception of the Chinese leaders. Indeed the “RCP.USA’s” rationalizations are simply the most pathetic special pleading, since the fact is that nowhere does the Chinese Communist Party or Mao Zedong discuss as a drawback or difficulty of the Chinese Cultural Revolution that the Party was not used to give guidance to the masses. Instead the pattern of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and hence presumably the negation of the party and of the proletariat, is prescribed as something that should be done periodically, as the form finally found to prevent capitalist restoration.

In fact, today it can be seen from the speeches and books in defense of “three worlds-ism” and Mao Zedong Thought by the leaders of the “RCP.USA” that Chinese revisionism regards the party as a somewhat suspect, bureaucratic form. The Marxist-Leninist teachings on the party are denounced as “administrative measures,” “bureaucratic,” “undialectical,” “straight-line thinking,” and so forth. The “RCP.USA” writes that to have had the leadership of the party in the Chinese Cultural Revolution would have meant that the Cultural Revolution would have been reduced to “...merely reshuffling the makeup of the key bodies of the Party and putting out a directive or two....”[2] This is what the “RCP.USA,” this alleged “revolutionary communist party,” thinks is the essence of party work! In this way the “RCP.USA” itself is admitting that its own rationalizations about the Cultural Revolution are an evasion, that the issue is not some unfortunate method of work forced on the Chinese Communist Party by circumstances, but the issue is the conception of the role of the party.

The Chinese revisionists however not only propagate the theory of spontaneity, the theory of setting the mass movement against the party. They also at times propagate the flip side, setting the party against the mass movement. Thus they advise that what the Marxist-Leninists need is detached intellectualism, for example, detailed “class analysis,” and in the meantime stay out of the class struggle. A number of minor sects revel in this aspect of Chinese revisionism. And in fact it is also an aspect of the methods of work of the major neo-revisionist organizations that are well-known for their revelling in spontaneity. The neo-revisionist organizations do not restrict themselves to denouncing the party in the name of the mass movement, but they also feel free to denounce the mass movement in the name of the party. These are not two opposite, alternative positions, as it may seem on the surface. On the contrary, they are both expressions of the same basic neo-revisionist dichotomy, of the same anti-Marxist conceptions of detaching the party from the class struggle, of negating the leading and organizing role of the party, of utterly failing to grasp that only through parties can classes express their political will.

On this same point, it is notable that the Communist League (formerly the California Communist League and now the “CLP.USNA”) was a major neo-revisionist organization that made a career of sneering at the mass movement in the name of the party. Far from being opposed to the basic neo-revisionist theses of the RU and OL, however, the CL shared the same basic conceptions with them. The CCL, just like the OL and the RU, gave the theory of “pre-party collectives” in order to sabotage Marxist-Leninist unity in 1969. We shall see later in this article that the OL and the CL also shared the same theory of Browderite “education,” detached from the revolutionary struggle. In addition, the practical work of the CL, for all its talk of theory, was right from the start the same flimsy liberal-labor politics as that of the other neo-revisionists. For years now, the ultra-rightism of the “CLP.USNA” has been its most blatant characteristic. True, the CL was a left-sloganeering agency of Soviet revisionism, rather than of Chinese revisionism. The CL and then the “CLP.USNA” eventually came out openly for the “socialism” of the Soviet social-imperialists and for unity with the official revisionists of the “C”P USA. But for precisely this reason, the CL’s earlier presence in the neo-revisionist trend was very significant. It shows that Chinese revisionism and modern Khrushchovite revisionism are closely related, are variants of each other. Regardless of the differences in form and the rivalries among the modern revisionists, they are all on the same course, with the same objective, and are united in their hostility to Marxism-Leninism and the revolution.

 

The Anti-Party Theory of “Developing One’s Own Trend”

The neo-revisionist leaders paid lip service to Marxism-Leninism. But actually they were for “developing their own trend.” They felt uncomfortable with Marxism and wished to replace it with some other trend. They denounced unity as “premature” on the grounds that one needed time to “develop one’s own trend.” In this way they sought to gain time to split the Marxist-Leninist movement on one or another opportunist program, to factionalize it into a thousand “trends.” In this way, they fought for freedom for spineless eclecticism, for freedom from Marxist principle and indeed from all integral and considered theory, for the freedom to introduce any fashionable deviation into the revolutionary movement. In practice, “their own trend” has turned out in every case to be variants of “three worlds-ism” and liberal-labor politics, under the thin cover of different shades of “left” phrasemongering and different sets of sectarian principles.

The theory of “developing their own trend” was a central point of the program of the Klonskyite October League (M-L). The OL(M-L) was formed through the merger of the October League and the Georgia Communist League (GCL). The GCL circulated to various groups and individuals an internal document entitled “Proposal for Consolidation of Unity with the October League,” dated February 1, 1972. This document claimed that the GCL and the OL “are now a distinguishable trend among anti-revisionists in this country.” It raises the key issue in a section heading entitled “III. HOW CAN WE FURTHER CONSOLIDATE OUR TREND?” (capitals as in the original) The only points of “unity” of this “trend” that the document gives are “1) Against the modern revisionist view of the world situation and their practice of social-imperialism.... 2) Against the CPUSA’s view of peaceful transition and peaceful co-existence as the strategic view of the proletarian revolution in the U.S....we have consolidated our views around the leadership of the industrial proletariat in our revolution.... 3) ...the situation is increasingly favorable for revolutionary activity but that what is principally lacking is the leadership of a firm, communist vanguard party to lead the way to victory.”

The hypocrisy of this document is glaring. The three alleged points of “unity” are only “Marxist” phrases to hide the actual anti-party content of the OL-GCL “trend.” If the GCL or OL had seriously followed these three points, they would not have ever formed their miserable sects but would have united with the ACWM(M-L) which upheld these points from its formation in May 1969. First Mr. Klonsky and his cohorts split the Marxist-Leninist movement on the pretext that Marxism-Leninism is not sufficient as a base of unity and that instead this or that set of special sectarian principles is necessary. Then in early 1972 they still can’t do more than repeat certain basic general principles, but they insist that they must still further “develop their own trend.”

Actually, “developing one’s own trend” means opposing some other trend. OL was “developing its own trend” in order to fight the Marxist-Leninist trend and to develop the neo-revisionist fallacies imported from Chinese revisionism. OL’s “developing our own trend” was also a plan to disrupt the struggle against revisionism by putting forward the plan for the many different anti-revisionist “trends” to struggle against each other.

The Bay Area Revolutionary Union and its successor, the RU, also followed the same principle. In Red Papers 6 (June 1974) the RU rationalizes their previous position on “pre-party collectives” on the grounds that “under these conditions [“that the Communist Party, USA deserted to the camp of revisionism and imperialism” – ed.] different ideas of what revolution meant in the U.S. developed in the course of struggle, and there was no single organization or line that could clearly point the way forward. Since no communist organization existed which upheld a revolutionary line that had withstood some test of practice,...”it was therefore necessary to have the “pre-party collectives.” “In the course of this, practice has been accumulated, ideological struggle has been carried on, and different tendencies have developed. So now it has become possible – in fact, it has become crucial – for the revolutionary forces to...unite all who can be united around a Marxist-Leninist line and Programme, and in this way form the Party.” (p. 4, emphasis as in the original) The RU added that ”It is true that different lines are presented at this time by different organizations.” The different lines are characterized as “the dogmatic tendency,” “the reformist tendency” and “the correct tendency.” (pp. 6-7)

On the face of it, the RU position is a crying contradiction. The RU claims that in the late 60’s and early 70’s no one organization upheld a tested-in-practice revolutionary line and that the “different tendencies” had not yet appeared. From this they conclude that unity was impossible. But if the “different tendencies” had not yet appeared, then clearly the task was unity in the common struggle for Marxism-Leninism against monopoly capitalism and its ideological servants: New Leftism, Castroism, modern revisionism, etc. With unity in a single center, it would be possible for the Marxist-Leninists to wage a better struggle against the deviations, against “dogmatic” or “reformist” tendencies. Having said that the tendencies have now emerged, the RU then gives the call for unity – although precisely at such a time the call would clearly not be for all inclusive unity but for struggle against the negative tendencies. This of course is a basic contradiction in all the theories of “developing one’s own trend.”

However, in practice the RU’s position was very consistent. To give the call for “developing one’s own tendency” means to fight against what one considers incorrect. The RU fought against the Marxist-Leninists on the question of the necessity for and the role of the party. That is a major reason why the RU had opposed the call for unity. As the Red Papers 6 admits, they had in the past “the tendency in our organization...to almost make a PRINCIPLE out of NOT HAVING a Party.” (p. 58, capitals as in the original) That is, the RU had taken up disrupting the party. It is significant that the RU did not call its “tendency” the “Marxist-Leninist tendency” but awkwardly avoided the name “Marxist-Leninist” by using the name “correct tendency.” This is because the RU was conscious of trying to develop “tendencies” or splits within the Marxist-Leninist movement, conscious that it developed its “tendency” in order to fight against Marxist-Leninist unity.

Thus the neo-revisionists replaced Marxism-Leninism, which they denounced as too abstract, untested in practice, or unclear, with what they regarded as very concrete, well-tested and precise, “their own trend.” In this conception, the neo-revisionists were fully in line with Chinese revisionism. The Chinese revisionists regard the theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin as incomplete and unworked out. In Mr. Avakian’s exposition of Chinese revisionism entitled Mao Tse-tung’s Immortal Contributions, over and over again he repeats that in one field after another, whether it be military affairs, culture, or the socialist economy, that allegedly Stalin was basically wrong and that allegedly Marx, Engels and Lenin failed to work out a systematic line.

From this conception of “developing one’s own trend” it is not far to the theory of the party having many different headquarters with their own platforms. The party is supposed to develop through this clash of platforms, through the development of a multitude of different trends or tendencies, undoubtedly exercising “long-term coexistence and mutual supervision” over each other. In this way, Mao Zedong is alleged to have worked out and systematized the correct line and to have brought Marxism-Leninism to “a new stage.” This process reduced the Communist Party of China to chaos, to a party without Marxist-Leninist backbone, that says one thing today and another tomorrow. And its duplication in the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement factionalized and scattered the movement.

 

The Neo-Revisionist Theory of “Many Centers”

The theory of “pre-party collectives” is openly a theory of “many centers,” “many parties.” It openly calls for the development of dozens upon dozens of different groups and openly negates the fact that the proletariat, if it is to express its interests as a class, needs a single center, a single political party. While this polycentrist theory is a negation of Marxism-Leninism, it is however a description of the usual situation in bourgeois, revisionist or fascist parties. Such parties are riddled with groups, factions and splinters, representing different financial groups, various “outstanding” personalities, unprincipled cliques, etc. Furthermore, any bourgeois or revisionist party that wishes to have influence among the workers consciously allows room for “left” factions or groupings. Thus the neo-revisionist “pre-party collective” scheme is a typical part of social-democratic politics. The Chinese Communist Party raised this to the level of an explicit theory. They hold that a party should have many “headquarters” with their own platforms and that the party develops through the mutual struggle of these “headquarters.”

However, the neo-revisionists were faced with the constant work in favor of the basic principles of Leninism by the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists led by first the ACWM(M-L) and then the COUSML (and now the MLP.USA). Therefore the neo-revisionists went over to the declaration of their “parties.” The question therefore poses itself. By declaring themselves “parties,” did the neo-revisionist groupings abandon their anti-Marxist theses negating the party concept?

The answer is no. To begin with, although the neo-revisionists declared various “parties,” they still maintained the same anti-Marxist ideas concerning the role of the party. They still held that party-building was simply the fusing together of various “pre-party formations” and they failed to grasp the crucial role of party-building in the class struggle. Thus the RU in Red Papers 6 explains its conception of the change from the RU to the “party.” The RU writes: “The creation of the Party on this basis, [“the development of the Programme” – ed.] then, has become the central task of U.S. communists for a brief period ahead.” However, this is simply a brief, unpleasant interlude before again taking up the real task. “In the past, when it was correct, as it will be again, to formulate the central task as building the struggle, consciousness and revolutionary unity of the working class and developing its leadership in the anti-imperialist struggle, there was the tendency to downplay the importance of the other major tasks, and the importance of building the Party, in particular.” (p. 5, emphasis added) Thus the RU admits that “in the past” it counter-posed “building the struggle, consciousness and revolutionary unity of the working class and developing its leadership” to building the party, that it did not understand what the party had to do with either the leadership, unity, consciousness or struggle of the working class. But the RU blandly adds that it will continue to counterpose these tasks in the future.

The Klonskyite OL(M-L) had exactly the same line. When the OL decided to declare their “party,” they too declared that party-building was solely a question of organizational fusion. The 1977 New Year’s Editorial of The Call stated: “While the task of uniting the Marxist-Leninists and winning the advanced workers will go on long after the first Congress, the organizational building of the party is the most crucial step at this point.” They stated that “Most importantly, communist groups, including the October League, united together into the Organizing Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party (OC).” It is quite clear that the OL regarded the task of party-building in 1977 as being equivalent to the task of negotiations for mergers carried out prior to the first Congress or prior to some new fusion. This is the same narrow view of party-building as the RU expressed prior to the First Congress of the “RCP.USA.”

Thus the Klonskyites made no advance at all in their conception of the party. They continued to detach the party from the class struggle. At their two-day conference in April 1977 that focused on how to develop the type of social-chauvinist press necessary for the imminent founding of the “CPML,” the editor of The Call, Dan Burstein, stressed that the OL regarded the task of party-building and “revolutionary education” as separate from the revolutionary struggle. He stated: “It is true that the workers also learn from their experience in life, from the class struggle. ... But we must recognize that we are in a period of building the party.... This is the chief characteristic of the present period.

“It is still in the future that our party will pass into a period of active leadership of mass revolutionary struggles.... Therefore,...today we must still see this period of our development as one chiefly of revolutionary education, rather than mass action.”[3] Thus Mr. Burstein admits that the social-chauvinist “party” is simply a Browderite educational association, a loose amalgam united only by the anti-Marxist formulas of the “three worlds” theory. He has not the faintest idea that, for a Marxist-Leninist, education means education in the course of the revolutionary struggle and that a Marxist party is built up in the thick of the class struggle. Mr. Burstein’s conception of “revolutionary education” is precisely that of the pro-Soviet neo-revisionists of the CL. Before the founding of the “CLP.USNA” they put forward the slogan “In this crucial period of party-building, education is our main task.”[4] What the CL meant by education is apparent from their denunciation of “the quicksand that the ’new Left’ calls practice.”[5] For the CL, as for the OL, party-building and scholastic “education” were one thing, the revolutionary struggle something else.

Thus the declaration of the neo-revisionist “parties” meant no change whatsoever in the liberal-labor and social-democratic ideas about the party held by the neo-revisionists. The neo-revisionists still had no idea of what the building of a Marxist-Leninist party meant. They still separated the party from the revolutionary struggle and counterposed the two. Nor did the declarations of the neo-revisionists’ “parties” mean that they had given up the theory of “many centers” and were no longer against the factionalization of the Marxist-Leninist movement. On the contrary, the declarations of the neo-revisionist parties meant that the neo-revisionists were stepping up their disruptive and factional work. The bitter fruit of the plan of “developing one’s own trend” was reaped in the founding of “many parties” based on “many programs.” Previously the neo-revisionists waged their struggle against the party concept under the guise of an alleged “unity of the left,” under the oh-so-reasonable (for liberals) Togliattist polycentrism. Then the bigger neo-revisionist sects switched over to Khrushchovite mono-centrism, to the attitude of “if you are not in my party, then you are dirt,” to the open flaunting of the most bureaucratic and sectarian conception of the party. Each of the “many parties” took up the intensified splitting and liquidation of the mass movements and mass organizations. The neo-revisionist Khrushchovite mono-centrism was just the flip side of their previous “pre-party collective” style of polycentrism.

This shows that it is a characteristic of the neo-revisionists to use the pretext of having declared their “parties” to escalate splitting and wrecking activities. For years the neo-revisionists denounced the Marxist-Leninists as sectarians and dogmatists for working for a single Marxist-Leninist center. But it is now proven for all to see that it is the neo-revisionists, those who lack all sense of party concept, who conceive of party leadership and proletarian hegemony in the most sectarian and factionalist manner. Meanwhile it is the Marxist-Leninists who uphold the interests of the class and who use the Marxist-Leninist organization to uphold the revolutionary unity of the fighting masses.

Thus the “RCP.USA” in their gangster-style article “Beat Back the Dogmato-Revisionist Attack on Mao Tsetung Thought” fume up and down about how such concepts as ”the ’purity’ of the party and of Marxism-Leninism” and the “’monolithic unity’ in the party” are undialectical and bureaucratic.[6] The article eulogizes the negation of the leading role of the party as “rely(ing) directly on the masses.”[7] But simultaneously the article puts forward as the correct definition of the role of the party the arch-bureaucratic and trotskyite formula that “...the party must exercise all-round dictatorship in every sphere of society....”[8] The “RCP.USA’s” formula of the “all-round dictatorship of the party in every sphere of society” is a totally anti-Leninist formula. It is a formula that negates the dictatorship of the proletariat and replaces the leading role of the party with respect to the working class with the dictate by force over the working class. The formula of the “dictatorship of the party,” used in the way the “RCP.USA” does, in fact implies the dictate of the top leadership of the party over all of society through forcible administrative means. Comrade Stalin showed in detail that this formula about the “dictatorship of the party” has nothing in common with Marxism-Leninism, that this formula is at best only inexact and figurative, hence is almost never used in Marxist literature, and never in such contexts as “in every sphere of society.” Stalin showed how equating the “dictatorship of the proletariat” with the “dictatorship of the party” then gives rise to further equating it with the “dictatorship of the leaders.”[9] Thus the “RCP.USA’s” negation of the party concept and of the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the party and its leading role has led it to the most mechanical, bureaucratic, administrative and bourgeois dictatorial distortions of the leading role of the party.

 

The Neo-Revisionist Negation of the Struggle Against Revisionism and Opportunism

The neo-revisionists practiced flabby conciliation towards revisionism and opportunism, while placing in the forefront the struggle against what they regarded as “ultra-leftism” and “dogmatism.” And, according to the theory of “pre-party collectives,” it was the party concept that was “ultra-left” and the revolutionary doctrine of Marxism-Leninism that was “dogmatic.”

Part Two of this series dealt with the neo-revisionist opposition to the struggle against revisionism and opportunism, and in other articles we shall deal with this question again. Therefore we will leave it aside here, except for one remark. The theory of “pre-party collectives” is the theory of the factionalization of the movement. It is this theory that justifies the extreme splitting and wrecking activities of the neo-revisionists and at the same time opposes the struggle against revisionism and opportunism. This is vivid proof that the main cause of factionalism and splitting activities is not the exaggeration of the struggle against revisionism and opportunism. On the contrary, the source of factionalism, sectarianism, and squabbling is the opportunist and neo-revisionist elements themselves. As Comrade Enver Hoxha teaches: “Revisionism is synonymous with splits, lack of unity, chauvinism and anarchy.”’[10] A principled Marxist-Leninist fight against revisionism and opportunism is absolutely essential to the elimination of factionalism, sectarianism and squabbling.

 

On Lenin’s Classic Work

What Is To Be Done?

Lenin’s classic work What Is To Be Done? has inspired many U.S. Marxist-Leninists and taught them to take the path of party-building. This brilliant work exposed the opportunist practice of trailing the spontaneous movement, brought out the great role of Marxist theory and taught the necessity of a truly revolutionary proletarian political party. In particular, this book helped many to see the crucial importance of party-building and the fallacious nature of the theory of “pre-party collectives.”

Hence the various neo-revisionists and opportunist elements had to work overtime to deal with the impact of What Is To Be Done? They introduced one distortion of it after another. Instead of learning from the general principles elaborated in the book and giving up the theory of “pre-party collectives,” they speculated on such odd theories as: that the economic struggle is allegedly valueless, that the key question is that you can’t hold the party congress until after a modern-day Iskra is published, etc. Therefore it may prove of value to point out some of the major issues raised by Lenin in What Is To Be Done? and other writings of the same period and to refute the opportunist distortions.

1) First of all, Lenin always regarded himself as a member of the proletarian party. Although the First Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) in 1898 failed to achieve its objective and truly weld the Russian Marxists into a solid party, yet the announcement by this Congress of the formation of the RSDLP “played a great revolutionary propagandist role.”[11] Lenin did not mock the Congress as “premature” or “dogmatist,” but instead he talked of “Regarding ourselves as members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party...[12] He denounced the Economists for, among other things, that ” ...they even go so far as to refuse to recognize the fact that all Russian Social-Democratic organizations laid the foundations of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party in 1898, published its Manifesto, and announced Rabochaya Gazeta to be its official organ, and that these publications stand by the ’old’ programme [i.e., Marxism as opposed to Economism or Bernsteinian revisionism – ed.] of the Russian Social-Democrats in its entirety.”[13]

2) Secondly, Lenin stood for the unity of the revolutionary Marxists right from the start. What Is To Be Done? is written against the view that the individual local organizations can by themselves solve the theoretical and political tasks facing the Russian Marxists. Turning things on their head, certain neo-revisionist pundits have argued that the fact that Lenin was not for the immediate calling of the Second Congress of the RSDLP shows that he too regarded unity as “premature.” But this is sophistry. Not only the Second Congress but also the all-Russian newspaper with its network of agents all over Russia and its connection to all the local organizations represented a form of all-Russian work. Both were forms of centralized party work. Lenin did not call for local organizations (or other types of pre-party formations) to prepare the conditions for future all-Russian work, but instead believed that the struggle against economism had to be waged immediately on an all-Russian scale. He held that there must be “joint work for a common newspaper” and that the newspaper could act as a “collective organizer.”’[14]

Just because this idea pervades the entire work, it is sometimes shuffled over. Let us therefore refer to a related work which explicitly denounces the “pre-party collective” plan. Lenin says: “It would also be an error to wait until ’local groups grow stronger, increase their membership, and strengthen their connections with the working class milieu – such reinforcement often leads to immediate collapse.

On the contrary, we must immediately set about the work of unification and begin it with literary unity, with the establishment of a common Russian newspaper....[15]

3) Lenin held that the struggle against Economism, i.e. against the Russian variety of international opportunism, the Russian supporters of Bernstein’s revisionism, was essential for the consolidation of a truly united, solid party. Thus Lenin put the struggle against revisionism and opportunism in the forefront.

4) Lenin stood for work along the lines of a definite trend or tendency, and he identified this trend clearly as Marxism. He was not for “developing one’s own trend,” but for defending revolutionary Marxism from international opportunism. He talks of conducting Iskra “in the spirit of a strictly defined tendency. This tendency can be described by the word Marxism, and there is hardly need to add that we stand for the consistent development of the ideas of Marx and Engels and emphatically reject the equivocating, vague, and opportunist ’corrections ’for which Eduard Bernstein, P. Struve, and many others have set the fashion.”[16] The two trends that had taken shape in international socialism at that time were international revolutionary Marxism and international opportunism, which had come out against what it called “dogmatic” Marxism.

The neo-revisionist theorists of the “pre-party collectives” go against all these ideas of Lenin.

1) First of all, they do not regard themselves as members of the party of international communism, nor do they regard themselves as members of the proletarian party in the U.S., seeking to revive that party and give it a united, solid form. On the contrary, they have no party spirit at all. They have invented the idea of the “pre-party situation” and the “pre-party formations” precisely in order to mock and ridicule the party. They constantly seek to weaken the party spirit among the activists and the proletarian and toiling masses.

2) They stand against unity in a single center and for development in scattered, factionalized groups. Since Lenin flays amateurishness, they are forced to pay lip service to this and to admit that the scattered “pre-party formations” are amateurish, weak, organizationally diffuse, etc. But they draw the opposite conclusion from this that Lenin drew. Lenin deduced from this the need for the single, countrywide party, while the neo-revisionists deduced that therefore the party could not be built yet and would be “premature” until the “preparty formations” should first correct all their amateurishness, elaborate and apply Marxism-Leninism, become organizationally firm, etc.

3) The neo-revisionists aim their blows not at revisionism and opportunism, but at “dogmatic” Marxism-Leninism. And this despite the fact that modern revisionism remains the main danger in both the international communist and workers’ movement and in its American contingent. The neo-revisionists neither wished to fight New Leftism, Castroism and other opportunist trends fashionable among the mis-leaders of the revolutionary youth and student movement of the 60’s, nor did they have any spirit to fight against the underlying curse in the U.S. movement, the decades of corrosion by Browderite liberal-labor and social-democratic politics. Yet in the U.S., the party concept can only be maintained in the course of a fierce struggle against revisionism and opportunism. The neo-revisionists make a show of fighting “dogmatism,” but actually it was precisely the neo-revisionists who introduced the fanatical right-wing dogmatism and who made great play with all sorts of idealist sophistry in order to give a faint “left” tinge to their basic Browderite politics. For the neo-revisionists, the fight against the “ultra-left,” against the “dogmatists,” against the “crazies” who actually fought the bourgeoisie and the state, was simply their code-word for the struggle against Marxism-Leninism and against those who took up genuinely revolutionary struggle.

4) The neo-revisionists oppose developing along the path of a strictly defined tendency, Marxism-Leninism. With their theory of “developing their own trend,” the neo-revisionists fought for freedom from all integral and considered theory and especially against the Marxist-Leninist theory. The neo-revisionists can’t understand how Marxism can be regarded as a strictly defined, consistently elaborated doctrine. They mock at Marxism-Leninism and prefer the vague, contradictory and thoroughly-compromised formulas of the counterrevolutionary theory of “three worlds.”

Thus the Marxist-Leninist principles elaborated by Lenin in What Is To Be Done? provide a clear and convincing refutation of the neo-revisionist theory of the “pre-party collectives.”

 

 

Endnotes

[1] V.I. Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, Ch. II, Sec. C.

 

[2] RCP.USA, “Beat Back the Dogmato-Revisionist Attack on Mao Tsetung Thought,” The Communist, No. 5, May 1979, p. 54.

 

[3] Dan Burstein, Class Struggle, #7, Spring 1977, p. 106, emphasis added.

 

[4] CL, in the publication el’ draft resolutions titled Marxist-Leninists Unite!. 1973, p. 4.

 

[5] People’s Tribune, August 1973.

 

[6] RCP.USA, ”Beat Back the Dogmato-Revisionist Attack on Mao Tsetung Thought,” The Communist, No. 5, May 1979, pp. 66-70.

 

[7] Ibid., p. 52.

 

[8] Ibid., p. 86.

 

[9] J.V. Stalin, “Concerning Questions of Leninism,” Sec. V. “The Party and the Working Class in the System of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat,” Problems of Leninism, pp. 178-207, and in Works, Vol. 8. pp. 33-64.

 

[10] Enver Hoxha, Report to the Seventh Congress of the PLA, Ch. VI, p. 218.

 

[11] History of the CPSU(B), Ch. 1, Sec. 4.

 

[12] V.I. Lenin, “Draft Declaration of Iskra and Zarya,”

Collected Works, Vol.4, p. 323.

 

[13] V.I. Lenin, “A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy,” Collected Works, Vol. 4, p. 277.

 

[14] V.I. Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, Ch. V.

 

[15] V.I. Lenin, “Apropos of the Profession de Foi,” Collected Works, Vol. 4, pp. 295-96.

 

[16] V.I. Lenin, “Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra,” Collected Works, Vol. 4, pp. 354-55.

 

 

Mao, Browder and Social-Democracy: Mao Zedong and the American ultra-revisionist Browder supported each other and shared a common platform of social-democracy

 

The U.S. neo-revisionist trend has two roots. This trend represents in essence the merger of two traditions:
a) Chinese revisionism and “three worlds-ism” and
b) American Browderite liberal-labor and social-democratic politics.

These two trends have proved capable of merging themselves very snugly into a single harmonious, if utterly corrupt, whole. Investigation shows that this is because Mao Zedong Thought and its offspring, the theory of “three worlds,” are saturated with theses reminiscent of the social-democracy of the Second International. These two traditions of Browderism and Chinese revisionism have not only merged recently, they have merged before in the mutual support of Mao Zedong and the ultra-revisionist Browder. And today the Chinese leadership is openly following in the footsteps of the arch-renegade and traitor Browder as shown in the development of the warmongering U.S.-China alliance.

Below, we reproduce a speech prepared by the editorial staff of The Workers’ Advocate as the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists’ [the predecessor of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA] contribution to a study session on Mao Zedong Thought.

 

* * *

 

As part of the great struggle of the world’s Marxist-Leninists against Chinese revisionism, a struggle which requires the demolition of the revisionist myth of Mao Zedong Thought, we would like to share with you part of some investigation which COUSML has recently carried out. This work further demonstrates the fact that Mao Zedong Thought has nothing in common with Marxism-Leninism, and that this revisionist ”Thought” stands on common ground with the extreme social-democratic opportunism of the notorious American revisionist Earl Browder.

Mao Zedong Thought is an eclectic amalgam of assorted anti-Marxist-Leninist ideologies. Mao Zedong Thought has borrowed heavily from the doctrines of Kautsky and the yellow Second International as well as from the later revisionist betrayers of communism: Bukharin, Browder, Tito, Khrushchov, etc. Thus, this so-called “Thought” is imbued with a number of basic theses which are classically social-democratic and right opportunist in character.

It is well known that Mao Zedong’s sycophants in the U.S., the “three worldist” revisionists, are clustered into a number of extreme right opportunist sects, thoroughly imbued with the liberal-labor and reformist politics of the imperialist labor aristocracy. In essence these opportunists belong to two traditions: a) They comprise a contingent of the international opportunist trend of Chinese revisionism, based on the anti-Marxist-Leninist dogmas of the “three worlds” theory and Mao Zedong Thought; and b) They are the true heirs to the mantle of Earl Browder, faithful adherents to Browderite American great-power chauvinism and social-democratic liberal-labor, reformist politics and ideology. Furthermore, examination of these two revisionist traditions shows that they have common features; that the revisionism of Browder and that of Mao Zedong have appreciated each other in the past and converge on common revisionist positions and share a common historical development.

Browderism emerged within and set about seriously corroding the Communist Party of the USA in the mid-1930’s, in the same years that so-called Mao Zedong Thought triumphed within the Communist Party of China. Browder was the most despicable renegade to the American working class. It was under Browder that the Party of the proletariat, the CPUSA, was disbanded in 1944. Browderism also emerged before and during World War II in a number of other parties in the western hemisphere and elsewhere. Browderism fully matured as a revisionist distortion of Marxism-Leninism under the conditions of the emergence of U.S. imperialism as the most powerful imperialism and the undisputed leader of the imperialist camp. And this revisionism was particularly tailored and constructed to serve the global plans of U.S. imperialism for complete world domination.

The contemporary convergence of Mao Zedong’s theory of “three worlds” and the revisionism of Browder is obvious and glaring. They share in common their adaptation to the counter-revolutionary global ambitions of U.S. imperialism in particular. Browderism obliterates the fundamental contradiction between capitalism and socialism; denies the class struggle; writes off the revolution and demands that the proletariat and oppressed people seek salvation under the so-called “democratic” slavery of U.S. imperialism. So too with Mao’s anti-Leninist theory of “three worlds.” The formation of the contemporary U.S.-China alliance – justified by the “three worlds” theory – is one of Browder’s pet dreams come true. Undoubtedly. Browder’s specter was dancing over both of the Nixon-Mao tete-a-tetes. For his part, Mao sought the counter-revolutionary U.S.China alliance for the realization of his own dream, to turn China into a powerful social-imperialist state.

 

 

Mao’s Search for a U.S.-China Alliance Did Not Begin in 1971 or 1972

 

But our investigation shows that Mao’s search for this alliance did not begin in 1971 or in 1972. On the contrary, during the Second World War and after its conclusion, Mao Zedong turned to U.S. imperialism for salvation. And the ever pragmatic line and policy pursued by Mao and the Communist Party of China coincided with the revisionist line and policy of Browder at that time too. The examination of this all too revealing chapter in the chaotic development of the CPC provides further insight into the social-democratic features and the revisionist essence of Mao Zedong Thought.

During World War II, besides a pro-Chiang Kai-shek lobby, a pro-Mao Zedong lobby emerged within the U.S. State Department, within the U.S. military departments and inside and outside the Senate and other government bodies. The State Department men appointed to the U.S. embassy in China during the first years of the war were among those who sought a “realistic” approach to Mao. The advocates of this policy held that not only Chiang Kai-shek, but also Mao Zedong could be turned into a useful instrument of U.S. imperialist policy in China and Asia. John Service, deputy to the U.S. ambassador and subsequently attached to U.S. military headquarters, was, according to the U.S. ambassador to China, the U.S. imperialists’ “governmental authority on Chinese Communism.” (see Lost Chance in China: The World War II Dispatches of John S. Service, p. xvii) In 1944, after long and intimate discussions with Mao and the other leaders of the CPC in Yenan, Service wrote his superiors that it was not only the Kuomintang but also the Chinese Communists who “are friendly to the United States and look to it for the salvation of the country, now and after the war,” adding that “the parallel with Yugoslavia has been drawn before but is becoming more and more apt.” (Ibid., pp. 164-65)

And, in fact, a survey of Mao’s writings at the time shows that Mao did indeed look to U.S. imperialism for salvation. This is also confirmed by the reports and interviews provided by the U.S. imperialist diplomats and journalists in contact with the CPC leaders – including those diplomats and journalists favored by the Chinese leaders themselves and used by them as spokesmen, for example, Edgar Snow, John S. Service, etc. It is also the case that Mao was more than eager to play the role of a Chinese Tito. In particular, Mao Zedong agreed with Earl Browder about the prospects for the emergence of a democratic capitalist China under the wing of U.S. imperialism. In no uncertain terms, Mao Zedong told the Americans that the Communist Party of China preferred U.S. imperialism and its system of “democracy” as opposed to a “one-party dictatorship” and “the type of communism practiced in Russia.” According to Service, Mao considered a U.S. land invasion of China absolutely necessary for the liberation war against Japan, stressing that “We think the Americans must land in China” and that “any contact you Americans have with us Communists is good.” (Ibid., p. 304) As for the socialist Soviet Union, Mao told the Americans:

The Russians have suffered greatly in the war and will have their hands full with their own job of rebuilding. We do not expect Russian help.

Furthermore, the KMT because of its anti-communist phobia is anti-Russian. Therefore KMT-Soviet cooperation is impossible. And for us to seek it would only make the situation in China worse. China is disunified enough already! (Ibid., p. 306)

As Mao expressed it, since the Soviet Union was ravaged by the war, the hopes of the CPC had to be placed on the rising star of U.S. imperialism, its military might and its all-powerful dollar.

Regarding the ideological position of the CPC, the so-called “greatest Marxist-Leninist” Mao told the American journalists in 1944:

We accept critically the long tradition of China – inheriting that which is good and rejecting that which is bad. We do the same with things coming from abroad. We have accepted such things as Darwinism; the democracy exemplified by Washington and Lincoln; the eighteenth-century philosophy of France; the materialism of Feuerbach; Marxism from Germany; and Leninism from Russia. We accept anything from abroad that can be good for and useful to China. We reject bad things, such as Fascism. Such things as the type of Communism practiced in Russia are not to be adopted in China, for the conditions in China are not ripe. Conditions are not present for the introduction of Communism. (Ibid., p. 256)

Such is the anti-communist sophistry and eclectics which Mao cooked up to serve his American guests. This is the crystalization of the real meaning of Mao’s slogan “make foreign things serve China.” This is a frank confession on Mao’s part as much as to say that: I am an unbridled pragmatist. If it is good and useful to China, I will take it. A little French philosophy here, a little German Marxism there, a dash of Leninism from Russia (only for red coloring of course), and the democracy exemplified by the American capitalists, blended with a heavy dose of “traditional Chinese” doctrines is just the kind of stew which will nourish the future Chinese imperialist state. As for the present, we accept American “democracy” and we will go in for the U.S. imperialist’s anti-communist propaganda and declare that we reject bad things such as fascism and “the type of communism practiced in Russia.” Such is the frank opportunism of Mao Zedong Thought.

 

Mao Zedong Foresaw a Bourgeois Democratic Future for China in Which U.S. Imperialism Was to Play a Major Role

 

For Mao, like Browder and all the revisionist apologists of U.S. imperialism, so-called American democracy was their ideal. As Browder expressed it:

“The Party goal of socialism was defined as an organic continuation of Jeffersonian democratic principles.” (Browder Talks!, “Why I am not a Communist,” 1952) That is to say that the emancipation of the exploited and oppressed can be realized through the extension of so-called “American democracy” as if the so-called ’’American democracy” of the 20th century was not completely subordinated to the interests of the parasitic financial oligarchy, and was not the ever more hollow shell of the savage dictatorship of monopoly capital. As if the “organic continuation” of “American democracy” had not proved to be political reaction all along the line, a characteristic feature of imperialist “democracy.” And Mao, like Browder, “overlooked” the fact that even the democracy of Washington and Lincoln, while a model of the bourgeois democracy of the 18th and 19th centuries, nevertheless represented the rule of the exploiting classes, the dictatorship of the capitalist and slave owning minority.

Thus at the time of the departure of the U.S. Vice-President Wallace from China after a tour, on July 4, 1944, the Communist Party of China’s newspaper, Liberation Daily, carried an editorial declaring:

“Democratic America has already found a companion...in the Chinese Communist Party.... The work which we communists are carrying on today is the very same work which was carried on earlier in America by Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln; it will certainly obtain, and indeed has already obtained, the sympathy of democratic America.” (see Schram, Mao Tsetung, pp. 225-26) Mao Zedong took this same theme even further, advising the American military observers that:

every American soldier in China should be a walking and talking advertisement for democracy.... After all, we Chinese consider you Americans the ideal of democracy. (Lost Chance in China: The World War II Dispatches of John S. Service, p. 303)

Thus, Mao Zedong was not steering along the Marxist-Leninist road of the uninterrupted revolution; of carrying out the anti-imperialist bourgeois democratic stage of the revolution as a necessary preparation for the immediate transition to the socialist revolution. This means, in effect, to turn the anti-imperialist, democratic struggle into a means to transform China into a modern capitalist state. Not only that, within the bourgeois democratic future which Mao foresaw for China, U.S. imperialism was to play a major role.

In an interview with Service, Mao assured the Americans that:

The policies of the Chinese Communist Party are merely liberal....
Even the most conservative American businessman can find nothing in our program to take exception to.
China must industrialize. This can be done – in China – only by free enterprise and with the aid of foreign capital. Chinese and American interests are correlated and similar. They fit together, economically and politically....
The United States would find us more cooperative than the Kuomintang. We will not be afraid of democratic American influence – we will welcome it.” (Ibid., p. 306-07)

This line of Mao’s was elaborated in a more theoretical way to Service by a member of the CPC Politbureau, Po Ku, the founder and director of Liberation Daily, and according to a note in Mao’s Selected Works (Vol. III, p. 222, 1965 ed.), working directly under Mao’s leadership. Po Ku explained to Service Mao’s line as follows:

But to try to transplant to China all of Marx’s description of the society in which he found himself...and the steps (class struggle and violent revolution) which he saw would be necessary for the people to escape from those conditions, would not only be ridiculous, it would also be a violation of our basic principles of realistic objectivism and the avoidance of doctrinaire dogmatism.
China at present is not even capitalistic. Its economy is still that of semifeudalism. We cannot advance at one jump to socialism. In fact, because we are at least two hundred years behind most of the rest of the world, we probably cannot hope to reach socialism until after most of the rest of the world has reached that state.
First we must rid ourselves of this semifeudalism. Then we must raise our economic level by a long stage of democracy and free enterprise. What we Communists hope to do is to keep China moving smoothly and steadily toward this goal. By orderly, gradual and progressive development we will avoid the conditions which forced Marx to draw his conclusions of the necessity (in his society) for class struggle: we will prevent the need for a violent revolution by a peaceful planned revolution.
It is impossible to predict how long this process will take. But we can be sure that it will be more than thirty of forty years, and probably more than a hundred years.... (Ibid., pp. 311-12)

In short, a century or more of “free enterprise” so-called was the avowed program of the Communist Party of China according to the “basic principles of realistic objectivism” as elaborated by Po Ku. On the other hand, “doctrinaire dogmatism,” that is to say Marxism-Leninism, which demands the uninterrupted transition to the socialist revolution – without going through a “long stage” of raising the economic level and “free enterprise” – must be avoided like the plague. Only Browder could express himself more clearly in favor of capitalism than Po Ku. As Browder cynically put it:

...we declare in advance our understanding that the democratic-progressive camp to which we adhere will adopt the defense of ’free enterprise,’ that we understand this term as a synonym for capitalism as it exists in our country, and that we will not oppose it nor put forth any counter-slogans. (Teheran: Our Path in War and Peace, Browder, 1944, p. 71)

 

Mao’s Report to the 7th Congress of the CPC Agrees with Browderism

 

The defenders of Mao Zedong may object that we are being unfair to attribute this scandalous opportunism to Mao and the CPC on the say-so of State Department officials and bourgeois journalists. However, after over 35 years of circulation, the accuracy of these interviews and documents has yet to be challenged, and even Mao Zedong’s friends and admirers quote Service and the others favorably as a reliable source. The “friend of China” Han Suyin, for example, not only freely uses Service’s accounts as a source of “Mao’s thoughts” and praises these accounts as “entrancing,” but she even enthusiastically carries pictures of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai with Service, Barret, and the other emissaries of U.S. imperialism. (Han Suyin, The Morning Deluge, p. 428) Moreover, more importantly, the accuracy of these documents are wholly confirmed by the official documents of the CPC at the time, not only in the Liberation Daily but also in the works of Mao Zedong. Of particular significance here is Mao Zedong’s political report to the 7th Congress of the CPC held in 1945, otherwise known as his article “On Coalition Government.” At the 7th Congress, “Mao Zedong Thought” was formally placed in the Constitution of the Communist Party of China as the theoretical guide to all the Party’s work. And the anti-Marxist-Leninist nature of this Mao Zedong Thought is particularly revealed in Mao’s political report which elaborates his opportunist strategy and tactics.

In this report, Mao Zedong pontificates:

It would be a sheer illusion to try to build a socialist society on the ruins of the colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal order without a united new-democratic state, without the development of the state sector of the new-democratic economy, of the private capitalist and the cooperative sectors.... (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 233)

(It should be noted that in the original 1945 translation, the phrase “state sector of the new-democratic economy” is completely absent, leaving only the plan for “the development of a broad private capitalist and cooperative economy.” (The Fight for a New China, New Century Publishers, New York, 1945, p. 38) But in either case this anti-Leninist concept reads the same.) Mao goes on to lecture against “some people (who) fail to understand why, so far from fearing capitalism, Communists should advocate its development,” that “indeed, we have too little capitalism.” Mao even attempts to claim that this opportunist line is required by the Marxist laws of social development, that:

From our knowledge of the Marxist laws of social development, we Communists clearly understand that under the state system of New Democracy in China it will be necessary in the interests of social progress to facilitate the development of the private capitalist sector of the economy.... (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 233)

This system of so-called “New Democracy” which ensures “the growth of private capital and the protection of private property,” was the central ingredient of the “general program” elaborated at the 7th Congress of the CPC. And Mao proclaims that this “general program of New Democracy will remain unchanged throughout the stage of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, that is, for several decades.” (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 235)

Thus, it is obvious that Po Ku, by way of Service’s interview, elaborated Mao Zedong’s revisionist position exactly. We will leave it to the defenders of Mao Zedong Thought to accuse us of attributing to Mao, Po Ku’s desire for capitalist development for “more than a hundred years.” Oh no, Mao only sought capitalist development for “several decades”!

As mentioned, Mao’s 7th Congress report provides a relatively systematic elaboration of the anti-Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics of Mao Zedong Thought on a whole series of cardinal questions of the revolution. Nevertheless, to get the full flavor of the completely shameless opportunist nature of this report it is necessary to compare the well-doctored current edition with the original translation of 1945. In both editions Mao describes how over a number of years under so-called “New Democracy,” that is, with the growth of the capitalist economy, China will be transformed into an industrial country, how the “Communists are ready to fight for this objective in cooperation with all the democratic parties and industrial circles throughout the country,” and how “both labor and capital will work together to develop industrial production.” (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 253) This is clear enough. But at this point an entire major paragraph has been edited from the original text, a paragraph of particular importance to Mao’s strategy for China’s development. The missing paragraph reads as follows:

Large amounts of capital will be needed for the development of our industries. They will come chiefly from the accumulated wealth of the Chinese people, and at the same time from foreign assistance. We welcome foreign investments if such are beneficial to China’s economy and are made in accordance with China’s laws. Enterprises profitable to both the Chinese people and foreigners are swiftly expanding large-scale light and heavy industries and modernizing agriculture, which can become a reality when there is firm internal and international peace, and when political and agrarian reforms are thoroughly carried out. On this basis, we shall be able to absorb vast amounts of foreign investments. A politically retrogressive and economically impoverished China will be unprofitable not only to the Chinese people, but also to foreigners. (The Fight for a New China, Mao Zedong, New Century Publishers, New York, 1945, p. 62, emphasis added)

This too is crystal clear. Mao was for carrying out the democratic revolution not for the purpose of clearing the path for socialist revolution and development in China, but to clear the way for “several decades” of bourgeois capitalist development in general and for the absorption of “vast amounts of foreign investments” in particular – to make China profitable not only for the Chinese capitalist exploiters but for the foreign imperialist plunderers to boot!

Mao argued that it was only the CPC with its system of “New Democracy,” and not the KMT with its stifling bureaucracy, etc., which could guarantee the highest return on the investments not only of the Chinese bourgeoisie but also those of the foreign bankers and other imperialists sharks. And which imperialists Mao had his eye on is demonstrated by two other paragraphs cut from the original text. The first expresses gratitude to Britain and particularly to the United States “for their sympathy with the Chinese people and their help.” And the second starts with a quotation from the U.S. imperialist President: “The late President Roosevelt once said that the world had shrunk. In fact, the American people, once thought by the Chinese people to be living very far away, are now our next door neighbors.” (Ibid., p. 68)

And finally, there is another set of important passages omitted from the original text, passages which could have been lifted from Browder’s revisionist testament Teheran: Our Path in War and Peace. Speaking of the Anglo-American-Soviet alliance in the war, Mao declares that with “this all-decisive condition, finally demonstrated at the Crimea Conference (Browder’s Teheran – Mao’s Yalta!(Crimea)).... The whole aspect of the world has changed since this condition made its appearance.” (Ibid., p. 7) “We are in a totally new situation.” (Ibid., p. 8) “International problems are to be solved by conferences led by the three or five major nations: internal problems of the various nations will have to be solved, without exception, in accordance with democratic principles.” (Ibid., p. 7)

From these declarations at the 7th Congress of the CPC, the fundamentally opportunist positions which the Chinese leadership had come to at the time were unmistakable. Mao Zedong Thought, this ideology without any Marxist-Leninist backbone, this ideology which formed the basis for extreme zigzags and deviations in the political line of the CPC, had brought the CPC to the edge of the social-democratic revisionist, capitulationist abyss of the arch-renegade Browder. Here it should be pointed out that while Mao Zedong had no appreciation for the work of the great Leninist Stalin nor for that of the Comintern which made invaluable contributions to the development of the Chinese revolution, there is evidence that Mao highly appreciated the renegade Browder. At the time that the American communists overthrew Browder’s leadership and reconstituted the Party in 1945, Mao Zedong used the occasion to acclaim Browder as his “comrade.” According to the original text of Mao’s message to the CPUSA as it appeared in the Liberation Daily (but edited out of the later edition) Mao went out of his way to lavish Browder with the praise that: “In his past activity. Comrade Browder has rendered many services to the struggle of the Chinese people, which deserve our gratitude.” (see Schram, Political Thought of Mao Tsetung, p. 425) Moreover, the opportunist positions of the CPC were not missed by Browder himself who recognized in the Chinese leadership an ally for his revisionist-imperialist course.

 

In the “Wisdom of Mao Zedong” Browder Recognized an Ally for his Revisionist-Imperialist Course

 

Browder was an unabashed champion of U.S. imperialism’s crusade for the domination of the entire world. His work Teheran actually gives detailed encouragement to the American imperialists to “establish the primacy of the foreign market for America’s immediate post-war economic perspective” (Browder, Teheran: Our Path in War and Peace, p. 77) and carries a chart on the billions of dollars of “new markets” to be conquered by U.S. imperialism in the various corners of the globe. Browder explained this enthusiasm for U.S. imperialism with the absurd hoax that American capitalism “retains some of the characteristics of a young capitalism.” (Ibid., p. 70) Thus Browder’s vision was for “big capital” to “subordinate its operations to a broadly conceived and definitely planned program of national and international expansion of well-being for all” (Ibid., p. 73, emphasis as in original) – that economic development under the tutelage of U.S. imperialism would be the salvation of mankind.

It is from this standpoint that Browder hailed the Chinese Communists as “America’s most reliable friends in China.” (Ibid., p. 27) “The chief consideration” according to Browder “is that America...must have enormous post-war markets for its products, for which Asia provides the chief potential. These markets must be on a scale never before dreamed of...” and the seizure of these markets “is a life-and-death necessity for the prevailing American way of life.” (Ibid., p. 47) Browder lectured the U.S. imperialists on the need to adopt a neo-colonial policy: “A policy directed toward realizing a great market in Asia for American products must be directed...toward abolishing the colonial system and its replacement by a system of free, self-governing, unified nations...independent, self-governing nations provide expanding markets.” (Ibid., p. 48) And like Service, and like Mao, Browder considered the CPC the best instrument of American imperialist interests in China, pointing out that: “It is a demonstrable fact that the economic policies characteristic of ’Kuomintang’ China today are operating to defeat America’s interest in an expanding Chinese market, while the economic policies of ’Communist’ China are those most favorable and conducive to an expanding market.” (Ibid., p. 48)

Indeed. Browder, who had worked in China with the CPC and who always maintained a special concern for the Chinese situation, was quite aware of the political complexion of the Chinese communists. As Browder had assured the U.S. imperialists in 1942: “The Chinese Communist Party accepts the perspective of a capitalist development of China, not only now 16 but for an indefinite future.” (Browder, Victory and After, pp. 189-90)

And after Browder’s expulsion from the CPUSA in the course of Browder’s open fight to justify his extreme revisionism against so-called “dogmatic” Marxism-Leninism, Browder became an ardent champion of the “wisdom of Mao Zedong.” In 1949 Browder delivered a lecture entitled ”Chinese Lessons for American Marxists.” In this rabidly anti-Marxist-Leninist speech, Browder made the argument that the “brilliant Mao” was victorious in China because he pursued the same policies which Browder had always advocated, whereas the American communists were weak, not because of Browderite liquidationism as they claimed, but because Browderite revisionism had been rejected and the “wisdom of Mao Zedong” had not been correctly assimilated. Among other points, Browder elaborated the following “Chinese lessons.”

The “most important Chinese lesson for American Marxists,” according to Browder’s lecture, is the necessity to create a “national Marxism” for each country. The “good Marxist policy in China” and the “successful leadership...epitomized in the person of Mao Tsetung,” Browder attributed to Mao’s “’China-ization’ of Marxism.” Browder cites approvingly a 1943 speech of Zhou Enlai’s according to which: “The twenty-two years of the history of our party have proved that in all these years Comrade Mao Tsetung’s policy has been to develop a particular line for Chinese Communism, to China-ize Marxism and Leninism.” And Browder elaborates on Zhou Enlai’s thesis with extensive quotations from Mao’s political report to the 7th Congress of the CPC (“On Coalition Government”) drawing the “lesson” that: “American Marxists, having repudiated the very concept of ’Americanizing’ Marxism, have imprisoned themselves in dogmatism.”

Browder explains that “Mao Tsetung taught the Chinese Communists that they must not copy unthinkingly any other country, or adopt unthinkingly any other cultural system” – that is to say should not “adopt unthinkingly” the “cultural system” of Marxism-Leninism and socialism! Once again quoting extensively from Mao’s 7th Congress report, Browder points out that “Mao Tsetung specifically repudiated the idea that the Chinese Communists intend, now or in the future, to copy the Soviet Union” in establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and building socialism. And Browder waxes particularly enthusiastic about Mao’s “uniquely Chinese application of Lenin’s teachings about the ’progressive’ character of capitalist economic forms, in preparing for socialism – and even in building socialism – in his concept of a ’new capitalism’ in China.” As Browder put it: Mao “did not hesitate to speak of the necessity of ’harmony’ as well as struggle between the workers and private Chinese capitalist employers”; and “rounded out the concept of the ’new democracy’” which “promote(s) the free development of private capitalist economy” over a “prolonged period...of over scores of years.”

Furthermore, Browder finds in Mao an ally for his arch-revisionist thesis of the “path of Teheran” in post-WWII international relations. Browder cites Mao’s thesis of the “all-decisive condition, finally demonstrated at the Crimea Conference” ensuring the “new world order” of permanent peace, democracy and harmony guaranteed by three or five powers. And Browder concludes that just as the rejection of Browder’s “Teheran” thesis is responsible for the “failures” of “dogmatic” Marxism, “Mao’s sound and correct judgments led the Chinese Marxists to victory.” Browder’s only remorse was that Roosevelt’s “wisdom” did not also prevail and therefore U.S. imperialism failed to “preserve China as a friend of America with cooperative relations.” And Browder places the blame for this on “dogmatism,” that is the rejection of the “clear and definite judgments of Mao Tsetung,” by the CPUSA. Thus it is clear from Browder’s revisionist ravings of the time that, while Browder actually exaggerated the extent to which Browderism had in fact been repudiated by the CPUSA, Browder was acutely aware of the political nature of the “wisdom of Mao Zedong.”

 

Mao’s Pipe Dream of a Democratic Capitalist China Under the Wing of U.S. Imperialism Proved Impossible

 

History shows that this path advocated by Browder and Mao – the path of a democratic capitalist development of China under the umbrella of U.S. imperialism’s military and economic power after the war – proved impossible. As Leninism teaches, any idea of imperialism facilitating the democratic emancipation of the colonies is nothing but a sinister illusion propagated by the imperialists and their lackeys. Despite the promises of Browder and Mao that the CPC would be the best instrument of capitalism and U.S. imperialist interests in China and Asia, the pro-Chiang Kai-shek lobby triumphed over the pro-Mao lobby in the U.S. State Department. Unlike the situation in Yugoslavia, in China U.S. imperialism had in place Chiang’s well-armed and massive armies. Hence, as U.S. imperialism stepped into the shoes of Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini at the conclusion of the war and launched its barbarous crusade against communism and the revolution in order to enslave the entire world, the Americans armed Chiang Kai-shek to the teeth and hurled him against Mao Zedong’s forces. As a point of information it was the “great democrat” Roosevelt, and not Truman, who threw the pro-Mao lobby out of the U.S. State Department. This is contrary to the claims of Mao who, like Browder and the other apologists of U.S. imperialism, acclaimed Roosevelt as the one who “refrained from adopting a policy of helping the Kuomintang to undertake armed attacks on the Chinese Communist Party.” Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 285) In fact, for the entire 12 years of Roosevelt’s presidency, U.S. imperialist policy had consistently backed Chiang Kai-shek’s ceaseless armed attacks on the liberation forces. Furthermore, while it was the Roosevelt administration which was linked to the pro-Mao lobby (the State Department and military men who wanted to combine support for Chiang with a “realistic approach” to Mao) it was also Roosevelt who initiated the purge of these elements and their replacement with Patrick Hurley and his policy which led to the war of extermination against the Chinese communists.

Even after the fierce civil war in which the liberation forces triumphed and the bloodstained fascist Chiang Kai-shek clique was routed despite massive U.S. imperialist intervention, Mao Zedong and co. still harbored the idea of an alliance with U.S. imperialism. As Zhou Enlai appealed to the Americans in 1949, “China (is) still not (a) communist country, and if Mao’s policies are correctly implemented (it) may not be so for (a) long time.” (The New York Times, “The Peiping Cable,” August 13, 1978) As far as our investigation goes, it was only the Korean War that brought to a conclusion these first attempts at a U.S.-China alliance. As Mao himself points out, before the Korean War Stalin did not trust the Communist Party of China and thought that they would follow the same traitorous road as the renegade Tito. (See Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. V, p. 304)

This chapter in the chaotic development of the Communist Party of China, this extreme opportunist zigzag, is but further testimony to the fact that Mao Zedong was a bourgeois democrat; that Mao, as a leader of a so-called Marxist-Leninist communist party of the proletariat, was in fact a wily revisionist. It is another demonstration of the fact that Mao Zedong Thought converges with the extreme opportunist theses – even with Browderite revisionism and social-democracy. The opportunist positions of the CPC at the conclusion of World War II cannot be attributed to some quirk of history, to an aberration due to the complex situation of the times. No. Behind these deviations lie definite ideas, a definite theoretical system. The truth is that Mao Zedong’s opportunist political report to the 7th Congress of the CPC is fully consistent with Mao Zedong Thought. The truth is that the theoretical fabric of Mao Zedong Thought, when examined in light of the doctrine of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, is woven with a whole series of yellow threads, with blatantly social-democratic and right opportunist theses.

Let’s examine one such yellow thread, one of Mao’s “immortal contributions,” his so-called theory of “New Democracy.”

 

Mao Zedong’s Theory of “New Democracy” Is the Opposite of the Marxist-Leninist Theory of Uninterrupted Revolution

 

Mao Zedong dressed up his theory of “New Democracy” to appear as if it were in accord with the Marxist-Leninist theory of the “new democracy,” that is, the national democratic revolution of the new type; that in the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution, the national liberation movement of the oppressed peoples is no longer the reserve of the bourgeoisie but has become inseparably linked with the world proletarian revolution and socialism. But this was a hoax. The actual theory of Mao Zedong was that of the great barrier between the democratic and socialist revolutions. While Lenin stressed that under the conditions of imperialism the oppressed nations can ensure their genuine freedom and independence only with the establishment of socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and that the proletariat and people can bring the revolution to the socialist stage through the bourgeois democratic revolution of the new type; Mao, on the other hand, advocated the opposite. Mao wanted to stop the Chinese people’s revolution of a new type halfway, to drag it back towards the bourgeois democratic revolution of the old type, dreaming pipe dreams of a non-socialist independent Chinese state on a middle road, independent of both imperialism and socialism.

Mao Zedong elaborated the idea that only in the industrially advanced countries is it possible to set up the socialist system and the dictatorship of the proletariat, whereas “in the revolutions of all colonial and semi-colonial countries” it is necessary to go through a historical period of so-called “New Democracy,” including a long period of democratic capitalist development as a precondition for the transition to the socialist revolution. Mao did not believe in the capacity of the proletariat to lead the toilers in a backward country such as China in socialist revolution, socialist construction and socialist industrialization. Instead, since in China “modern industry constituted only about 10% of the total output of the national economy,” Mao held that “to raise her backward economy to a higher level, China must utilize all the factors of urban and rural capitalism that are beneficial and not harmful to the national economy and the people’s livelihood; and we must unite with the national bourgeoisie in common struggle.” (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. IV, “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship,” p. 421)

This “Thought” of Mao’s, however, is not in the least original or new but is a basic tenet of the revisionism of the heroes of the Second International, an idea held by the Russian Mensheviks which was theoretically demolished by Lenin as early as 1905. It is a basic social-democratic dogma which the Great October Socialist Revolution demolished in practice, demonstrating before the entire world that the working class, in alliance with the toiling peasantry, can in fact build a modern socialist economy and industry without the capitalists and exploiters, even on the ashes of a ruined backward peasant country such as tsarist Russia.

Moreover, there is the brilliant example of socialist industrialization in tiny Albania. Before liberation, feudal-bourgeois Albania was the most backward country in Europe. Albania had been reduced to a semi-colony of Italian imperialism and remained virtually without industry. While in China, according to Mao, industry constituted 10% of the national economy, in pre-liberation Albania “industry represented only 4.5% of all national economy.” (See The Social Class Structure of the Working Class in Albania, Tirana, pp. 20-21) But the backwardness of Albania’s economy in no way blocked the Albanian working class and people from embarking on the triumphant road of the socialist revolution and from resolutely expropriating and eliminating the capitalist and landlord exploiting classes. The incontestable evidence of this fact is that today, 35 years after liberation, the Albanian working class, cooperativist peasantry and people’s intelligentsia, on the basis of their own efforts, have successfully transformed Albania into a flourishing and modern, industrial-agricultural, socialist country.

These glorious achievements of socialist Albania are yet further proof of the correctness of Leninism and the total bankruptcy of the dogmas of social-democracy and of Mao Zedong’s dogma of “New Democracy.”

To revise Leninism, Mao Zedong resorted to simple sophistry. Mao Zedong points to the fact that China is capitalistically undeveloped and the bourgeoisie is also weak and undeveloped. So what does Mao Zedong conclude from this? That therefore “the national bourgeoisie is of...great importance”!, that the bourgeoisie should be treated like a sacred cow, propped up and taken under the wing of the Chinese communists till the next millenium.

 

Mao’s Concept of Chinese Society as “Big in the Middle and Small at Both Ends”

 

In fact, the entire policy of “New Democracy” is not directed in the first place towards the multi-million army of the revolutionary Chinese proletariat, nor towards the toiling peasantry, but towards what Mao himself describes as the weak and flabby so-called “national bourgeoisie.” Take for example, Mao Zedong’s slogan that “Chinese society is big in the middle and small at both ends,” and therefore “the Communist Party cannot solve China’s problems unless it wins over the masses of the intermediate classes and unless it enables them to play their proper role.” (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 466) This sounds reasonable enough until you realize which classes Mao is actually referring to. A footnote to the text claims that here Mao is only referring to the fact that the proletariat and the reactionary landlords and big bourgeoisie were a minority of China’s population. But this is a shallow hoax as clearly seen by an examination of what Mao considered “middle” or “intermediate” classes. According to Mao, “the winning over of the middle forces is an extremely important task for us,” as “The middle forces carry considerable weight in China and may often be the decisive factor in our struggle.” And just what are these “middle forces”? Mao’s writings are consistent to the effect that: “Winning over the middle forces means winning over the middle bourgeoisie, the enlightened gentry and the regional power groups”; that there are “three distinct categories” that make up “the middle forces”: the “national bourgeoisie,” the “enlightened gentry who are the left-wing of the landlord class,” and “regional power groups” with “most of the leaders of the regional power groups belong (ing) to the big landlord class and the big bourgeoisie.” (Ibid., pp. 423-24) In fact, whenever Mao refers to “middle forces” he refers only to the capitalist and landlord classes. What was “big” in Mao’s eyes was not the vast army of Chinese toilers with the proletariat in the center but the small minority of the exploiting classes.

The point here is that Mao Zedong made great play with the fact that China was a peasant country with a vast intermediate strata in order to trumpet the “great importance” of the Chinese exploiters and denigrate not only the significance of the Chinese proletariat, but also to belittle the weight of the other, non-proletarian, laboring classes. Hence, in Mao’s formula that the “middle forces carry considerable weight in China,” it must be kept in mind that nowhere in Mao’s writings are these toilers described or referred to as “intermediate” or “middle” classes. Mao is not speaking of the vast army of hundreds of millions of non-proletarian toilers. He is not speaking in the first place of the poor peasantry and farm laborers, the rural semi-proletariat, who by themselves, according to Mao’s own figures, comprised a majority of China’s population.

The proof of the pudding is in the text where Mao places his slogan “big in the middle and small at both ends.” Here Mao is arguing against those communists advocating ”a so-called state power of the workers, peasants and urban petty bourgeoisie” and who want to abandon the “united front policy” of the “three thirds system” of political power. So what is this “three thirds system”? Mao explains:

Places in the organs of power should be allocated as follows: one-third to the Communists, representing the proletariat and the poor peasantry; one-third to the left progressives, representing the petty bourgeoisie; and the remaining one-third to the middle and other elements, representing the middle bourgeoisie and the enlightened gentry.” (Ibid., p. 427) And to make it clear who these other elements might be, Mao explains that any representative of the exploiting classes ’ ’who are not actively opposed to the Communist Party must be drawn into participation both in the government and in the people’s representative bodies,.... Even a small number of right-wingers may be allowed to join the people’s representative bodies”! (Ibid., p. 445) So the question is what kind of “people’s representative bodies” are these where the vast majority of the “people,” that is the workers and peasants, are allowed only one-third of the power and where the other classes are propped up and guaranteed a two-thirds majority in complete disproportion to their actual political or numerical strength? The only imaginable explanation for this absurd “three thirds system” is to be found in Mao’s idea that the so-called middle forces were in fact “the decisive factor in our struggle” – that is to say, the small minority of exploiters was put in the middle of Mao’s strategy of “New Democracy.”

 

Mao’s Theory of “New Democracy” Is a Social-Democratic Theory of Bourgeois Democracy – Not Proletarian Democracy

 

Some of Mao Zedong’s noisier sycophants such as the “RCP.USA” are raising a hue and cry that the accusations against Mao are unjust, that in “essence” Mao’s “New Democratic” state is a “form of the dictatorship of the proletariat” and the “New Democratic” system is not capitalist but socialist. The best answer for ignoramuses of this sort is to tell them to go back and read the works of their mentor more carefully. Referring back again to the article “On Coalition Government,” Mao emphatically stresses that: “a new-democratic state based on an alliance of the democratic classes is different in principle from a socialist state under the dictatorship of the proletariat. ...throughout the stage of New Democracy China cannot possibly have a one-class dictatorship and one-party government and therefore should not attempt it. ...for a long time to come there will exist a special form of state and political power, a form that is distinguished from the Russian system....” (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, pp. 234-35, emphasis added)

Also in his article “On New Democracy” Mao explains that:

a third form of state must be adopted in the revolutions of all colonial and semi-colonial countries, namely the new-democratic republic...

Thus the numerous types of state systems in the world can be reduced to three basic kinds according to the class character of their political power: (1) republics under bourgeois dictatorship; (2) republics under the dictatorship of the proletariat; and (3) republics under the joint dictatorship of several revolutionary classes. (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 350)

Obviously, Mao’s idea of “New Democracy,” a separate “basic kind” of state “different in principle from a socialist state under the dictatorship of the proletariat” cannot possibly be reconciled with the opposite idea of being “in essence the dictatorship of the proletariat.”

So what kind of animal did Mao Zedong have in mind? Was Mao proposing a form of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry? No, this is obviously not what Mao had in mind when he attempts to shield himself with the slogan “dictatorship of several revolutionary classes.” A democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry in Mao’s distorted vision which did not properly distinguish the working class from the peasant classes would also be a violation of his laws against one-class dictatorship. Or was Mao’s conception of “New Democracy” some other transitional form to bring the revolution uninterruptedly to the dictatorship of the proletariat, to “one-class dictatorship and one-party government”?

No, this too is impossible to defend as well because it contradicts the entire practice of the Chinese revolution and the fact that the bourgeois parties remain in power in Beijing to this day. It contradicts Mao’s thesis of “long-term coexistence and mutual supervision” between the Chinese capitalist parties and the communist party. Moreover, it contradicts the entire bourgeois democratic outlook of Mao Zedong. When Mao Zedong told Service that “After all, we Chinese consider you Americans the ideal of democracy,” he was not making an idle compliment. In fact, Mao considered a multi-party system of bourgeois democracy to be superior to the “one-party system” and “the type of communism practiced in Russia.” As Mao put it, “We are not destroying the dictatorship of the big comprador bourgeoisie and the big landlord class in order to replace it with a one-party dictatorship of the Communist Party.” (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 445) And Mao continually harped on the theme of opposition to the “one-party dictatorship” of either the KMT or any other party. Mao’s anti-Marxist line on this question is summed up in one of his countless trite and idiotic formulas: “Just as everyone should share what food there is, so there should be no monopoly of power by a single party, group or class.” (Ibid., p. 409)

But what does it mean to renounce the idea of “monopoly of power”? It means to renounce the hegemony of the proletariat in the revolution which Lenin described as “the most consistent reformism” (V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 17, p. 232) It means to renounce the dictatorship of the proletariat which “can be complete only if it is led by one party, the Communist Party, which does not and must not share leadership with other parties. (J.V. Stalin, “Interview with American Labor Delegation,” Works, Vol. 10, p. 104)

The Maoists may object and say that Mao called for the “leading role of the proletariat and the Communist Party” within his multi-party democracy. But what, according to these so-called “Marxist” theoreticians, is a political party if not a “leader” of a definite class. And if such a leader of the bourgeois class shares power in the government along with the Communist Party what does this mean but sharing leadership? The phrase “leading role of the proletariat and its party” is only a phrase attached to an anti-Marxist policy, an afterthought after the fact, a slogan to fool the naive into thinking there is something “proletarian” in Mao Zedong’s bourgeois democratic policy. Why else is it that in the original text of “On Coalition Government” the idea of “the leading role of the proletariat and the Communist Party” is not even mentioned once, while the doctored versions are peppered with this phrase? It is because Mao Zedong Thought and so-called “New Democracy,” like social-democracy, stand for bourgeois democracy and not the Marxist-Leninist theory of proletarian democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

 

Capitalism and the Exploiters Are Peacefully Merged into Mao’s “Socialism” – a la Bukharin

 

As for the “socialism” of “New Democracy,” here again, as already mentioned, Mao himself stressed that this regime is “different in principle” from a socialist state. And the “socialist future” which Mao charted after “several decades” of “New Democratic” development was to evolve peacefully out of this hybrid bourgeois democratic order. That is, just as in classic social-democracy, the realization of socialism will not require a socialist revolution, the resolute expropriation of the capitalists and all exploiters and the elimination of the exploiting class. According to Mao, none of these socialist tasks were necessary for the realization of socialism in China. Instead, capitalism and the exploiters were to be merged into the system of Mao’s “socialism.” This theory is fully concretized in Mao’s notorious thesis that with the victory of the “New Democratic” revolution and its alleged transition to the socialist revolution, even then, the contradictions “between the exploited and the exploiting classes have a non-antagonistic aspect” and should be handled as “contradictions among the people.” (Mao Zedong, Selected Readings, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People,” pp. 433-34) Mao’s idea that “In the concrete conditions of China that this antagonistic class contradiction (between the working class and the bourgeoisie – ed.) can, if properly handled, be transformed into a non-antagonistic one and be resolved by peaceful methods” (Ibid., p. 435) is nothing more nor less than the idea of the dying out of the class struggle; as Mao put it, the idea of “harmonizing” or “adjusting” the class struggle. It is the idea of the peaceful growth of the capitalists into socialism. This theory was not first elaborated by Mao at all but by countless anti-Marxist “socialists” from Proudhon and the “bourgeois socialists” of the days of Marx and Engels to the chiefs of the Second International to the renegade Bukharin. In fact, J.V. Stalin’s polemic against the revisionist theories of Bukharin is also a powerful condemnation of the true nature of the “socialism” of Mao Zedong Thought. The following is part of a speech of Stalin’s against the “Right Deviation in the CPSU(B)”:

Capitalists in town and country, kulaks and concessionaires, growing into socialism – such is the absurdity Bukharin has arrived at.
No, comrades, that is not the kind of ’socialism’ we want. Let Bukharin keep it for himself.
Until now, we Marxist-Leninists have been of the opinion that between the capitalists of town and country, on the one hand, and the working class, on the other hand, there is an irreconcilable antagonism of interests. That is what the Marxist theory of the class struggle rests on. But now, according to Bukharin’s theory of the capitalists’ peaceful growth into socialism, all this is turned upside down, the irreconcilable antagonism of class interests between the exploiters and the exploited disappears, the exploiters grow into socialism...
One thing or the other: either there is an irreconcilable antagonism of interests between the capitalist class and the class of the workers who have come to power and have organized their dictatorship, or there is no such antagonism of interests, in which case only one thing remains – namely to proclaim the harmony of class interests.
One thing or the other:
either Marx’s theory of the class struggle, or the theory of the capitalists growing into socialism;
either an irreconcilable antagonism of class interests or the theory of harmony of class interests.
We can understand ’socialists’ of the type of Brentano or Sydney Webb preaching about socialism growing into capitalism and capitalism into socialism, for these ’socialists’ are really anti-socialists, bourgeois liberals. But one cannot understand a man who wishes to be a Marxist, and who at the same time preaches the theory of the capitalist class growing into socialism. (Problems of Leninism, pp. 354-56, emphasis Stalin’s)

Of course, Mao’s theory too, that is Mao’s thesis of the non-antagonistic nature of the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie and his policy of uniting with the bourgeoisie in “building socialism,” is not Marxist socialism at all but is really anti-socialism and bourgeois liberalism. Those Maoist birds who like to puff out their chests and chirp at Stalin for allegedly “denying the class struggle” are truly pathetic creatures as it is obvious that it is Mao and his followers, and not Stalin and the Marxist-Leninists, who have feathered a common revisionist nest with the likes of Bukharin.

 

The Struggle Against Mao Zedong Thought Is a Necessary Part of the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism, Social-Democracy and Opportunism of All Hues

 

For these reasons, among many others, there is no question that there is not a trace of Marxism-Leninism to be found in Mao’s theory of “New Democracy.” Furthermore, on a whole series of other cardinal questions of the revolution, Mao Zedong Thought has grossly revised the Marxist-Leninist principles. And on many of these questions, such as Mao’s theory of the communist party as an arena of vying platforms, his idea of opportunism constituting a middle force to be united with, etc., etc., Mao Zedong Thought has simply borrowed wholesale from classical social-democracy. Like the other revisionists, Mao Zedong’s theoretical energies were not devoted to the elaboration of Marxism-Leninism in the conditions of China as it is sometimes claimed, but to emasculating the Marxist-Leninist theory and adapting communism to social-democracy and a mishmash of other anti-Marxist-Leninist trends.

It is on this basis that Mao developed his revisionist idea of “two paths to power”: the October road of Marx and Lenin for the advanced capitalist countries and the “Chinese road” of Mao Zedong for the peasant countries. Mao Zedong advocated the stereotype formula of the non-revolutionary West in contrast to the revolutionary East, and the non-revolutionary proletarians as opposed to the revolutionary peasants. Thus, accordingly, Mao created a completely schematic picture of the purely legal, parliamentary, reformist and peaceful development of the revolution in the capitalist countries and declared that such a social-democratic, Browderite strategy “has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia”! (Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 220) And Mao counterposed this gross distortion of the road of the October Revolution to the “Chinese road” which Mao claimed to be “different,” free of what he describes as the ’ ’task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries to educate the workers and build up strength through a long period of legal struggle.” (Ibid., p. 219) (For further analysis of Mao Zedong’s social-democratic schematism on this question, see the following article, “Mao Zedong Thought Cannot Dull the Brilliance of the Great October Socialist Revolution.”)

Such a social-democratic conception of the proletarian revolutionary movement in the developed capitalist countries is, as is well known, one of the cornerstones of Mao’s theory of “three worlds” which openly condemns the proletariat as a class without a revolutionary nature or capacity. Moreover, Mao has been elaborating these opportunist dogmas since the 1930’s, which further demonstrates the affinity of Mao Zedong Thought and Browderism in those years. As well it demonstrates that so-called Mao Zedong Thought is not in the least antagonistic to the liberal-labor reformism of the “three worldist” modern day Browderites but in fact merges with it completely. This shows that the struggle against Mao Zedong Thought is a necessary part of the struggle against reformist, social-democratic and modern revisionist politics of all hues. The repudiation of Mao Zedong Thought is part and parcel of the struggle for the triumph of the Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics and ideology in the revolutionary movement.

 

 

 

 

To Pursue a United Front with “Three Worlders” is Anti-Marxist and Tantamount to Betrayal

 

The second part of this series exposed the liberal and conciliationist approach towards the struggle against modern revisionism which is held in common by both Chinese revisionism and its American expression, U.S. neo-revisionism. Neither the Chinese revisionists nor the U.S. neo-revisionists believe in the necessity of a stern, irreconcilable and merciless struggle against revisionism and opportunism of all hues. They both reject the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on this question. Both the Chinese revisionists and their American sycophants consider the principled struggle of the Marxist-Leninists against modern revisionism and all opportunism as “ultra-left,” “dogmatic” and “sectarian.” Instead, both the Chinese revisionist “theoreticians” and their followers in the U.S. hold that modern revisionism should be treated not as an enemy but as a so-called “wavering” and “middle force” to be “won over and united with.”

This article deals with the Chinese leadership’s extreme opportunist policy of forming alliances and “united fronts” with the modern revisionists. Such a policy is the inevitable product of the anti-Marxist-Leninist position that modern revisionism should be treated as a “middle force.” Throughout the whole course of the over two decades of struggle against Khrushchovite modern revisionism the Chinese leaders, with criminal methods, have tried to impose such a traitorous policy on the entire international Marxist-Leninist movement. The efforts of the Chinese in the direction of forming alliances with the modern revisionists – whether with the Khrushchovites in a “united front against U.S. imperialism,” or with the Titoites and other renegades allegedly “against Khrushchovite revisionism” – did great damage to and betrayed the struggle of the world’s Marxist-Leninists against Soviet modern revisionism. Furthermore, in recent years, the Chinese road of vacillation and conciliation with modern revisionism has gone completely bankrupt. It has collapsed into openly counter-revolutionary “three worlds” revisionism and an open alliance with U.S. imperialism and the most barbaric reactionaries and warmongers.

The Chinese catastrophe provides a serious warning to all those who would advocate conciliation and alliance with the revisionists, whether they are Khrushchovite, Titoite, Chinese or any other variant of revisionist betrayers of Marxism-Leninism. In particular, it sounds a warning to all those who are following just such a conciliationist course in the current struggle against Chinese revisionism.

The struggle against Chinese revisionism and its rotten anti-Leninist theory of “three worlds” has broken out in force. Just as the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism has been and continues to be a life and death struggle on a world scale between the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist forces and the counter-revolutionary forces of imperialism and modern revisionism, so too with the present struggle against Chinese revisionism. In this great struggle it is, of course, out of the question and tantamount to betrayal to seek an ally in the Khrushchovite or other modern revisionists to fight the Chinese revisionists. Or, equally traitorous, is to seek unity with one group of “three worldist” followers of Chinese revisionism in the name of fighting Deng Xiaoping and Hua Guofeng in Beijing. However this is precisely what certain conciliators of Chinese revisionism are doing.

These conciliators proclaim that they are against the theory of “three worlds” and the present ultra-revisionist and counter-revolutionary Chinese leadership. But at the same time they are working to build alliances with various hardened “three worlders” and followers of Chinese revisionism on the pretext that these elements also have some contradiction with the present-day Chinese ultra-revisionist leadership. Thus they are making alliances with one faction of Chinese revisionism against the other. Some of these conciliators even find mutual support in the “RCP.USA,” a diehard “three worldist” sect that makes gangster-like attacks on socialist Albania. Thus, the obvious questions arise: What kind of serious struggle can you wage against the Chinese revisionist “three worlds” theory when you yourself are openly embracing the advocates of “Map Zedong’s theory of three worlds” and the loudest trumpeters of the anti-Marxist-Leninist theses of Chinese revisionism? How can you properly perform your duty of defending Marxism-Leninism and socialism from the frenzied attacks of the Chinese revisionists when you yourself are linked arm in arm with a bunch of rabid enemies of the international Marxist-Leninist movement, vilifiers of the glorious Party of Labor of Albania and of the brilliant Marxist-Leninist Comrade Enver Hoxha, and open enemies of socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania?

It is abundantly clear to anyone with two eyes that to pursue such a course means to abandon the struggle against Chinese revisionism altogether. In reality, it means to merge with the Chinese and other revisionists in order to fight the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties. But these conciliators are blind to these obvious facts because they do not want to carry the struggle against Chinese revisionism through to the end. They say that they are against the “three worlds” theory and the open alliance of the Chinese revisionists with imperialism and reaction. But now, when the question of the ideological roots of the “three worlds” theory and the Chinese revisionist betrayal have been exposed in the anti-Marxist-Leninist and revisionist theses of “Mao Zedong Thought,” the conciliators want to retreat. Instead of systematically sorting out the question of Mao Zedong, the conciliators want to step back into alliances with the “three woridist” gangsters and enemies of socialism.

The line of alliance with the modern revisionists, under whatever pretext it may disguise itself, is a line of damaging and betraying the entire glorious struggle waged by the Marxist-Leninists against modern revisionism. Both the Chinese revisionists and their neo-revisionist followers in the U.S. have provided a vast wealth of proof of this truth. By negative example they have confirmed ever more powerfully the only Marxist-Leninist line: that the Marxist-Leninist cause and the proletarian revolution can only advance without the modern revisionists, social-chauvinists and opportunists of all hues and in relentless struggle against these traitors to Marxism-Leninism and lackeys of imperialism.

 

The Chinese Leaders’ Centrist Policy of a “Common United Front Against U.S. Imperialism Including the Khrushchovite Revisionists”

 

It has been well documented by the Party of Labor of Albania how the Chinese Communist Party vacillated and wavered from the outset of the struggle against the betrayal of the Khrushchovite revisionists. And one of the principal planks of the Chinese leadership’s conciliation of the Khrushchovites was their extreme opportunist policy of a “common united front against U.S. imperialism including the modern revisionists.”

In the early 1960’s the Khrushchovite betrayal was open and complete, Khrushchov and his gang had proved themselves to be nothing but faithful accomplices and lackeys of imperialism, and the Party of Labor of Albania had alone launched the open polemic to repudiate the Soviet revisionists. It was at this time that the Chinese leaders launched their idea of a “united front against imperialism including the modern Soviet revisionists.” Under this centrist banner, even after the Communist Party of China itself joined the polemic against the Soviet revisionists, the Chinese polemics were toned down and at times even ceased, negotiations were held with the Khrushchovites and compromises were struck. Even in the heat of the open polemic, when the Chinese leaders had themselves declared that Khrushchov was a traitor, Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and company clung to the idea of uniting with the Khrushchov clique against imperialism. For example, in 1964 Mao and the others wrote to their “Soviet comrades” declaring that in the face of aggression from imperialism, China and the Soviet Union will in the end be united. This conciliatory policy was particularly tuned to those wavering parties which lacked the Marxist-Leninist nerve for the open fight against Soviet modern revisionism. And by bolstering these elements in their centrist position the struggle was damaged and a valuable service was provided the Khrushchovites.

The Chinese revisionist line of a “united front” including the revisionist tsars of the Kremlin was never fully consummated. However, in pursuing their typically pragmatic policy the Chinese ultra-revisionists are even now engaging in backstage negotiations for a reconciliation with Moscow, while simultaneously their paid dogs are barking about “striking the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism.” The failure of this “united front” cannot be attributed to any lack of desire on the part of the Chinese leadership. To the contrary, it failed because this “united front” came under fire from two directions.

On the one hand, such a “united front” came under fire from the Khrushchovites themselves. Reconciliation between the Chinese leadership and the Soviet revisionists through a “united front against imperialism” proved impossible. Though the Khrushchovites also propagated this idea to their own advantage, the Khrushchov clique could not accept such a “united front” on the Chinese terms. The Soviet revisionists refused to “share the leadership” of such a front as the Chinese demanded, and could accept so-called “unity against imperialism” only on the basis of the complete submission of the Chinese to themselves.

Furthermore, on the other hand, this centrist policy of a “united front including the Khrushchovite revisionists” came under stern fire from the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists, making this policy a very difficult one for the Chinese leadership. In particular, despite brutal pressure, the Chinese leaders failed to impose such a traitorous line on the Party of Labor of Albania which openly and courageously denounced such a centrist course. Throughout this period, the glorious PLA consistently fought for the Leninist stand on this vital question of principle. This stand was emphasized at the 5th Congress of the PLA held in 1965. In his Political Report to the 5th Congress, Comrade Enver Hoxha stressed:

With their entire policy and practice the Khrushchovite revisionists have placed themselves outside the anti-imperialist front. To include the revisionists in this front means to introduce the fifth column, the ’Trojan Horse,’ and to undermine it from within.

And the PLA further pointed out in regard to the struggle against revisionism:

...there can be no middle road. The ’golden mean’ is the line of reconciliation of opposites, which can never be reconciled. Nor can the middle road serve to disguise the deviations from Marxist-Leninist principles, because, if the fight against revisionism is not inspired by ideological motives, but only by certain economic and political motives on a national chauvinist basis, it is a mere bluff which is short-lived. Those who uphold this line in their stand toward the renegades from Marxism-Leninism are themselves in danger of slipping, sooner or later, into the positions of the latter....

For the PLA, unity with the revisionists, even in the form of an “anti-imperialist front,” was inconceivable. The 5th Congress of the PLA expressed its firm opinion that:

...unity will be re-established in the communist movement and the socialist camp, but it will be re-established by the Marxist-Leninists without revisionists and traitors and in resolute struggle against them.[1]

 

The CPC Has Pursued the Opportunist Line of “Fighting Khrushchovite Revisionism” Through Alliances with the Other Revisionists

 

While a common “united front” with the Soviet revisionists against U.S. imperialism was always pursued by the Chinese leadership, because of the situation it never fully materialized. (Of course, nothing rules out the prospect of such an alliance between the revisionist centers of Beijing and Moscow in the future.) For this reason, the Chinese have spread a thick veil of silence over their efforts in this direction. Nevertheless, the dirty methods of Zhou Enlai and co. and the opportunist activities of the Chinese leadership in its attempts to realize such a unity with the Soviet revisionists have been documented and scientifically exposed in Enver Hoxha’s brilliant new work Reflections on China.

Furthermore, the Chinese leadership sought to implement their rotten line of a united front with the revisionists also from another angle: unity with all and any revisionists, traitors and renegades who have contradictions or allegedly have contradictions with the Soviet revisionists in the name of “fighting Soviet revisionism.” Quite simply this is the line of unity with revisionism under the pretext of fighting revisionism. It is not a stand of fighting against modern Soviet revisionism, but of competing with it for the leadership of the revisionist camp.

In accordance with their policy of unity with revisionism, the Chinese leadership set up a whole string of alliances with the Titoites and other modern revisionist lackeys of U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. These alliances have a long, sordid and disgraceful history. These alliances have matured with time and their rotten fruit has ripened into public scandal and disgrace.

From the beginning of the struggle against Titoite revisionism, Mao Zedong and the Chinese leadership agreed with the flunkey of U.S. imperialism, Tito, against the great Marxist-Leninist, J.V. Stalin. Though they did not and could not admit this at the time, later they said as much with a great deal of fuss about “Stalin’s mistakes in regard to Tito.” The Chinese leadership took great care to cultivate their contacts with the Titoites and with the other revisionist traitors. In particular, the Chinese leadership regarded as comrades all the centrifugal, polycentrist currents in the modern revisionist camp, currents which competed with the Soviet revisionists in their ardent embrace of Tito, the U.S. imperialists and the entire Western imperialist bourgeoisie. The Chinese leadership carefully groomed its ties with the Yugoslav, Romanian, Polish, Czech and other revisionist lackeys in power in Europe. It also never severed its ties with the Italian, Spanish and other Eurocommunist scum. In 1970, the revisionist bootlicker of Franco fascism in Spain, Santiago Carillo, received a warm welcome in Beijing. And today the connections of the CPC with the Eurocommunists are being activated more than ever.

Of particular significance is the special relationship which has existed between the Chinese Communist Party and the Romanian revisionists. It is hardly a secret to anyone that Romania has been and remains one of the most openly revisionist states, without even a trace of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism in its line. In fact, that close comrade of the Chinese leadership, Ceaucescu, has been the devout pupil of the renegade Tito. It was from Tito that Mr. Ceaucescu learned to play the role of an errand boy and loyal vassal of both U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism and to please both masters at once. And thus, the Chinese interest in Romania goes beyond its important ties with Romania itself. For the Chinese leadership, COMECON and Warsaw Pact Romania has been a special bridgehead not only with Titoite Yugoslavia but also with the U.S. imperialists, Soviet social-imperialists and the other revisionists of Europe to boot.

Moreover, the Chinese leadership has placed more value in their alliances with the Yugoslav and Romanian revisionists than in their alleged “proletarian internationalist solidarity” with the Party of Labor of Albania and socialist Albania where the red flag of Marxism-Leninism has been held triumphantly aloft and where the dictatorship of the proletariat and genuine socialism have been consistently defended. Not only that, the Chinese leadership even wanted to place the Albanian communists, the outstanding shock troops of the international proletariat in its great struggle against imperialism and modern revisionism, under the direct tutelage of the Romanian and Yugoslav revisionist cliques. In a most despicable plot of Zhou Enlai’s, first hatched in 1968 and pursued through 1974, the Chinese tried with blackmail and brutal interference in Albania’s internal affairs to pressure socialist Albania to sign a defense pact and form a united front with the Titoites and Romanians and thus to entrust the defense of socialist Albania to these revisionist enemies.

It is clear that the Chinese leadership never wanted to rely on the international proletariat and ally with the Party of Labor of Albania and the other genuine Marxist-Leninist parties and groups in a common struggle against the Khrushchovite revisionists. To the contrary, the tactics of the Chinese leadership were geared towards the building up of a united front of bourgeois lackeys and revisionist scoundrels “who have contradictions with the Soviets.” Of course, to “fight modern revisionism” with such revisionist weapons as Tito, Ceaucescu, Carillo and the Eurocommunists is, in reality, to “fight” from a completely revisionist angle. This line shows the totally unprincipled, national chauvinist, centrist and conciliatory approach of the Chinese leadership towards the entire struggle against modern revisionism.

Today the fruits of the Chinese leadership’s policy of “fighting the Soviet revisionists” with an alliance of other revisionists are fully apparent. The CPC, in harmony with its Yugoslav, Romanian and other “comrades,” has completely betrayed Marxism-Leninism and has formed an open alliance with imperialism and the most savage reaction. From the ideological standpoint, the present-day “anti-Soviet revisionism” of the Chinese is indistinguishable from the “contradictions with the Soviet revisionists” which the Titoites and the others might have. Obviously, these contradictions have their source not in the ideological conflict between Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism but in the imperialist and social-imperialist rivalries, and in the counter-revolutionary ambitions of these revisionist cliques.

The Chinese experience is a powerful demonstration that the policy of a united front including the revisionists is a line of conciliation of revisionism and capitulation to imperialism. It is a line of unity with the traitors and enemies and of betrayal of Marxism-Leninism and the revolution.

 

The U.S. Neo-Revisionists Have Followed the Chinese in Seeking Unity with the Revisionists and Opportunists of All Hues

 

As we have pointed out previously, the U.S. neo-revisionists also consider revisionism and opportunism neutral phenomena, “middle forces” to be “won over and united with.” And this has been expressed in their extremely flabby and conciliatory attitude towards these firefighters of the revolution. In practice, each of the neo-revisionist cliques has a series of ties and opportunist alliances in effect among the modern revisionists, trotskyists, cultural nationalists and opportunists of every shade. Moreover these ties and alliances are especially activated for the purpose of forming a holy alliance against their principal enemy, revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. Over the last decade it can be seen that, on the one hand, the Marxist-Leninists of the ACWM(M-L) and then of the COUSML (and now of the MLP.USA) have consistently pursued the course of unity of the Marxist-Leninists and the building of the Marxist-Leninist Party without the modern revisionists, trotskyites and other opportunists and in irreconcilable struggle against them. The neo-revisionists, on the other hand, have for over ten years fought the “ultra-left” and “sectarian” Marxist-Leninists with a policy of “unity” with everyone and anyone that could serve their struggle against Marxism-Leninism.

Look for example at the “RCP.USA’s” unabashed fondness for the French trotskyite professor Charles Bettelheim. The May 1979 issue of the “RCP” journal, The Communist, carried a major article praising this hack anti-communist ideologue. (Appropriately, this was the same issue in which the “RCP” launched its rabidly anti-communist and lumpen-style ravings against the glorious Party of Labor of Albania and Marxism-Leninism and in defense of the revisionist dogmas of Mao Zedong Thought.) Under the guise of a long-winded and obscure criticism of Bettelheim, the “RCP,” in fact, praises this trotskyite to the skies. They regard him as a true “anti-revisionist” thinker whose at times “pathbreaking ideas” have unfortunately gone somewhat astray in lacking absolute devotion to Mao Zedong.

Under subtitles such as “Bettelheim as Trotskyite” and “Bettelheim as Khrushchovite” this article correctly, though extremely politely, points out that: “Between 1951 and 1968 Bettelheim’s politics were an eclectic mishmash of a number of fashionable leftist trends, including Khrushchovite revisionism...Trotskyism and ’third worldism.’” Admitting that Bettelheim’s politics have not changed from 1968 to date, the article shows that “Trotskyite tendencies are deep-rooted in Bettelheim.” It is also clear from this article that the political economy of this “anti-revisionist” is in fact anti-Marxist-Leninist to the extent that Bettelheim has been hired out to the bourgeois-feudal government of India and other reactionaries as an economic advisor!

Nevertheless, such “small matters” as these don’t stop the “RCP.USA” from turning around and lavishing Bettelheim with praise. The “RCP” assures the reader that while Bettelheim’s line is not a “thorough-going revolutionary line” (p. 233), at the same time “Bettelheim can be said to programatically stand with those who oppose revisionism”! (More precisely, it is the “RCP” that can be said to “programatically stand” with those who support Trotskyism and oppose Marxism-Leninism!) And furthermore: “Marxist-Leninists should welcome his positive contributions” (p. 175); that “There is much that is positive about what Bettelheim has written” (p. 173); and that “for their time” Bettelheim’s trotskyite ideas “were in a sense pathbreaking and what he wrote helped many understand much better the true nature of the class struggle for socialism”! (p. 219)

According to the “RCP.USA,” this openly trotskyite and Khrushchovite element, this imperialist ideologue with a lifetime of work against the science of Marxism-Leninism, should be forgiven his ideological “weaknesses.” And moreover he should even be united with and welcomed by the Marxist-Leninists because this “prominent friend of China,” like the “RCP,” writes profusely in support of Mao and against Stalin and besides this he is critical of the present regime in China as well. In fact, “RCP.USA’s” only real criticism of Professor Bettelheim is that he lacks consistency in his trotskyite arguments in defense of Mao Zedong’s revisionist distortions of Marxism-Leninism.

As this example shows, in their struggle against Marxism-Leninism and to defend Mao Zedong Thought and the entire arsenal of Chinese revisionism, the neo-revisionists are more than willing to reach into the sewers for the slimiest allies, even for such inveterate trotskyites as Charles Bettelheim.

It should be noted in passing that Professor Bettelheim has been, in reality, a “prominent friend of China,” that is, of the Chinese revisionist leadership. To serve their dirty alliances with revisionism and imperialism the Chinese established an entire international network of bourgeois, revisionist, trotskyite and anti-communist so-called “friends of China.” In the name of the solidarity movement with China and under the hoax of “people to people friendship,” the Chinese leadership linked up not with the genuine friends of China and the people but with the most reactionary, imperialist and revisionist elements such as the trotskyite Charles Bettelheim, who was the chairman of the France-China Friendship Association, and with the modern revisionists including the Italian revisionist party through its society for “friendship” with China.

This brings us to another clear-cut example of the neo-revisionist practice of unity and alliance with the modern revisionists and opportunists of every stripe: that is their disruptive activities in the anti-imperialist solidarity movements. According to the neo-revisionists, what it means to build a broad front of support for the national liberation movements is to give all the pro-Khrushchovite, “three world-ist,” trotskyite and similar dregs their place inside this “broad front,” inside the coalitions, etc. But how can the pro-Khrushchovites, the ardent firefighters of the revolution and the liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples, and lackeys of imperialism and social-imperialism, “broaden” the solidarity movement? Similarly, how can the advocates of the anti-Leninist theory of “three worlds” – the theory that justifies “solidarity” with U.S. imperialism and the butchers of the oppressed people such as the fascist criminal Richard Nixon, the medieval Shah of Iran and the bloodstained dictator Pinochet of Chile – “broaden” the solidarity movement? These characters have not and will not lift a finger to support the liberation struggles but infiltrate the support movements for the sole purpose of subverting them in the interest of the Soviet, Chinese and other revisionists and imperialists and social-imperialists.

The truth of the matter is that in every case where the so-called broadening of the solidarity movement through unity with the revisionists and opportunists has been pursued, it has meant the real liquidation of the actual solidarity work. The solidarity movement can only be broadened by organizing the masses. However, lacking faith in the masses, the neo-revisionists instead open the doors only to the most rotten elements. A tea party of assorted revisionist, “three worldist” and trotskyite elements is the furthest thing in the world from developing broad support for the anti-imperialist struggles. To restrict the modern revisionists, “three worldists” and trotskyites from the solidarity movement does not mean restricting the breadth and scope of the movement in the slightest. To the contrary, building the solidarity movement through dirty alliances with the opportunist jackals means necessarily to restrict, curtail and to do great damage to developing the support of the broadest sections of the people for the anti-imperialist and national liberation struggles.

The solidarity movement, like the entire revolutionary movement, can only be built and strengthened on the shoulders of the proletariat. It is only the revolutionary proletariat and its Marxist-Leninist party which can develop the solidarity movement on the sound basis of proletarian internationalism, which can ensure that it is truly anti-imperialist and revolutionary and is not undermined and turned into a plaything in the hands of the revisionists and imperialists. Likewise, based on the working class and the vanguard party of the working class, the anti-imperialist solidarity movement can be a truly broad movement, brought deep and wide among the working masses and to all the genuinely progressive and anti-imperialist sections.

Thus the Chinese revisionist line of unity and alliance with modern revisionism and opportunism is a line of cowardly retreat from the battlefield against modern revisionism. It is to betray Marxism-Leninism and to desert the revolution and the working class. All revolutionary Marxist-Leninists have the duty to persevere on the road of Lenin who taught the proletariat that “The fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism.” Today, the great struggle of the international proletariat against U.S. imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism, Chinese social-imperialism and all reaction; the struggle which is being led by the Marxist-Leninist parties for the triumph of the revolution and socialism, can only advance without the Khrushchovite, “three worldist,” Titoite and other revisionist and social-chauvinist traitors and in merciless struggle against them.

Endnote

[1] The above passages from the Fifth Congress of the PLA are taken from the History of the Party of Labor of Albania, pp. 602-05.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mao Zedong Thought Cannot Dull the Brilliance of the Great October Socialist Revolution

 

These days mark the 62nd anniversary of the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution. This was an earthshaking and unprecedented revolution in which Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the Russian proletariat in overthrowing the yoke of imperialism, opening up the path for the liberation of the proletariat and oppressed peoples of all countries. The October Revolution was a most significant event in world history, which ushered in the era of proletarian revolutions, the epoch of the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the victory of socialism. The triumph of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the October Revolution was a great confirmation of the theory of Marxism as elaborated by Marx and Engels. It also marked the inevitable triumph of Leninism – the Marxism of the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution, the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general and the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.

With the triumph of the October Revolution, the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin emerged as a center of socialism and a mighty base for the advance of the world revolution. For the first time in history the capitalists and landlords were radically expropriated, eliminating the exploitation of man by man, and the Soviet working class and toilers embarked on the road of the construction of socialism. The eyes of the exploited and oppressed of the whole world turned to the land of the October Revolution. The most class conscious proletarians of all countries in both the West and the East took up the banner of the October Revolution and Marxism-Leninism, which they recognized as the sole path to liberation from the yoke of exploiters, the capitalists and landlords, the colonialists and imperialists. As Lenin pointed out, “Bolshevism can serve as a model of tactics for all.” (The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, p. 88) Lenin organized the Communist International under which the communist parties, Leninist parties of a new type, of revolution, were set up. And under the invincible banner of the October Revolution, guided by the theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the world revolution, the struggles of the proletariat and oppressed peoples for social and national liberation achieved unprecedented victories. The imperialist system was breached in a number of countries of Europe and Asia, and a powerful socialist camp emerged confronting the imperialist camp.

It is therefore not in the least surprising that from the very days of October 1917 to the present the imperialist bourgeoisie has concentrated all its energy and power towards preventing the proletariat from taking the road of the October Revolution, destroying Bolshevism and liquidating the Marxist-Leninist parties and the socialist camp. The international bourgeoisie has unleashed its armies and all its instruments of repression against socialism and Marxism-Leninism. In particular, imperialism created its special agency within the international communist movement itself, a special weapon in the form of modern revisionism with which to fight Marxism-Leninism. And through the Trojan horse of modern revisionism, imperialism achieved what it couldn’t achieve through the armed counterrevolution. After the death of Stalin, the Khrushchovite modern revisionists betrayed the October Revolution and through the revisionist counterrevolution overthrew the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist system in the Soviet Union, and revisionism came to power in a number of socialist states and liquidated the communist parties as revolutionary parties in many countries.

Nevertheless, despite the zigzags in history, despite the revisionist betrayal, the experience of the October Revolution and the ideas which led it, the doctrine of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, have not been and cannot be eliminated but maintain the same brilliance and universal validity as ever. The red banner of Marxism-Leninism and the October Revolution is held high aloft by the international proletariat, by the Marxist-Leninist communist parties with the glorious Party of Labor of Albania and Comrade Enver Hoxha in the forefront. And there is the genuinely socialist country, the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania which marches forward triumphantly on the road of Red October.

Therefore, more than ever, the defense of the road of the October Revolution and Marxism-Leninism against the onslaught of modern revisionism, against their revisionist distortion and negation, remains a central task for all genuine Marxist-Leninists. This is a cardinal subjective factor for the development of the world revolution, for the struggle of the proletariat and oppressed peoples for social and national liberation. The purity of Marxism-Leninism, as the doctrine of the international proletariat, must be guarded as the solid ideological foundation of the contemporary revolutionary movement. Thus the attempts of the various currents of modern revisionism to overthrow Leninism, under whatever pretext and from whichever source, must be relentlessly exposed and repudiated.

In short, whether or not the road of the October Revolution and the Marxist-Leninist theory which guided this revolution are valid for all countries and must not be violated is a question of paramount importance on which Marxism-Leninism clashes with modern revisionism of all types. It clashes with Khrushchovite revisionism which propagates the “peaceful road to socialism” and social-fascism and social-imperialism. It clashes with Titoite revisionism with its “specific socialism” and “third road” to deny the universal experience of the October Revolution, and to justify capitalism and alliance with U.S. imperialism. It clashes with “Eurocommunism,” with its “Italian,” “French” and “Spanish” “roads to socialism” which justify a policy of historic compromise and collaboration with the monopoly bourgeoisie. And on this vital question Marxism-Leninism clashes sharply also with Chinese revisionism and Mao Zedong’s theory of “three worlds” which denies the revolution altogether and which defends U.S. imperialism in particular. Like the other variants of modern revisionism, Chinese revisionism, with its ideological basis in Mao Zedong Thought, is a revisionist negation of the experience of the October Revolution and Marxism-Leninism.

Just as the other revisionisms have done, Chinese revisionism has created an entire arsenal of opportunist “justifications” for its fundamental negation of Marxism-Leninism in its revisionist doctrine of Mao Zedong Thought. To uncover and expose Mao Zedong Thought, however, it is not sufficient to look only at Mao’s official works. Mao Zedong posed as a “great Marxist-Leninist” while in fact he was a wily revisionist who eclectically and pragmatically combined some Marxist-Leninist phraseology with his revisionist distortions of Marxism. Therefore the entire development of Mao Zedong Thought and the practice of the Communist Party of China must be examined. Also in this light, the “theoretical” defense of Mao Zedong by the U.S. neo-revisionist and hardened “three worldist” sect, the “RCP,USA,” is a valuable contribution to the exposure of the revisionist and opportunist nature of Mao Zedong Thought, giving Mao’s anti-Leninist theses an even more undisguised elaboration.

 

Mao’s Theory of a “National” or “Chinese Form of Marxism” Means to Revise Marxism

 

Mao Zedong was an advocate of the revisionist and national chauvinist position that Marxism-Leninism is not the universally applicable doctrine of the revolutionary proletariat of all countries. According to Mao, each country requires its own ideology, its own “national Marxism.” In particular Mao held that the Communist Party of China had to develop a “Chinese form of Marxism,” different in character from the “European Marxism” of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. While the followers of Chinese revisionism at times attempt to give the development of Mao Zedong Thought an “anti-revisionist” coloring, this “Thought” did not emerge in the struggle against modern revisionism. In reality, since the mid-1930’s the Communist Party of China has developed Mao Zedong Thought as a “Chinese form of Marxism,” i.e., a Chinese revision of Marxism from that time.

Mao’s idea of a “Chinese Marxism” was promoted under the chauvinist and xenophobic pretext that China is allegedly an “objective world” unto itself, a necessarily unknown entity to all but Mao and the Chinese. Hence, the scientific laws governing the development of class society and the proletarian revolution which had been discovered by “foreigners” were allegedly not applicable to Chinese conditions or were at best only partially applicable.

Therefore, the CPC and Mao Zedong set out to establish a “Marxism” with a specifically Chinese character, an “Asio-Marxism” which, of course, is not Marxism at all. In 1945, the 7th Congress of the CPC adopted a new constitution declaring that “the Thought of Mao Tsetung” must “guide the entire work” of the party. (Mao Tsetung, by Stuart Schram, p. 232) And in his report to the 7th Congress, Liu Shaoqi (Liu Shao-chi) defined Mao Zedong Thought as an “admirable example of the nationalization of Marxism.” (Ibid, p. 233) The following year, in an interview with Anna Louise Strong, Liu Shaoqi declared that “Mao Tsetung’s great accomplishment has been to change Marxism from a European to an Asiatic form.” (Ibid., p. 254) Of course, it cannot be argued that Mao disagreed with the arch-revisionist Liu Shaoqi on this. Mao presided over the 7th Congress and knew full well what his comrades were saying about “Mao Tsetung Thought” to the foreign journalists. No, this was Mao’s line as well. For Mao Zedong too constantly harped on the need of giving Marxism “a definite national form,” “an indubitably Chinese character.” (Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 209)

In the creation of this “Chinese form of Marxism,” in building up “Mao Zedong Thought” as something more “suitable to China” than Marxism-Leninism, Mao harbored a real chauvinist hostility towards the revolutionary experience of the international proletariat. The theory and tactics to guide the Chinese revolution had to be Chinese, or more specifically had to be the product of the “brilliance” of Mao Zedong and his ideas alone. In this regard, Mao Zedong is completely shameless:

...it is we Chinese who have achieved understanding of the objective world of China, not the comrades concerned with Chinese questions in the Communist International. These comrades in the Communist International simply did not understand, or we could say they utterly failed to understand Chinese society, the Chinese nation, or the Chinese revolution. For a long time even we did not have a clear understanding of the objective world of China, let alone the foreign comrades! (“Talk at an Enlarged Central Work Conference,” January 30, 1962, cited in Stuart Schram, Chairman Mao Talks to the People, p. 172)

This outrageous diatribe against “foreign comrades” reflects the typical hostility which Mao Zedong consistently displayed towards Marxism-Leninism and towards the international communist movement. For example, everyone knows that the great proletarian revolutionary strategists, Lenin and Stalin, were among those “comrades concerned with Chinese questions in the Communist International.” Yet with unsurpassed arrogance, Mao declares that Lenin and Stalin too, “utterly failed to understand Chinese society, the Chinese nation, or the Chinese revolution.” But then again, how could any “foreigners” “have a clear understanding of the objective world of China”?!

Furthermore, this abuse of “foreign comrades” is a typical example of Mao Zedong’s sinister duplicity. In Mao’s official writings, insofar as he quoted from the Marxist-Leninist classics, it was mostly from Stalin’s works pertaining to China. Mao even stressed that the Chinese communists must especially “study Lenin’s and Stalin’s writings on the Chinese revolution.” But this was simply so much eyewash because it is well known that Mao made a regular practice of abusing and slandering Stalin as a blundering ignoramus in regard to the Chinese revolution and in every other field. Like the other revisionists, Mao raved against the great disciple of Lenin, Stalin, in order to oppose Leninism itself. Shameless hypocrisy was Mao’s stock in trade.,/p>

The “RCP” also speculates and “theorizes” at length on this idea of the unknowable “objective world” of China. The first tactic of “RCP’s” defense of the so-called “immortal contributions” of Mao Zedong is to create the completely unfounded aura around Mao of the “great helmsman” crossing dark and uncharted waters, casting a ray of light in whichever anti-Leninist direction he steers. China is not like any other country, they protest. Hence, how can you criticize Mao from a Marxist-Leninist position when “Mao was really dealing with a new historical situation.” (The Communist, Number 5, May 1979, p. 49) The “RCP” raves:

...where in the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin is a clear line presented on how to wage the armed seizure of power in a country like China? Of course there is no such prescription, for unlike Hoxha, the great leaders of the proletariat were not into speculating on hypothetical situations that had not yet arrived. Since there had never been a revolution led by the working class in such a country prior to the Chinese Revolution, isn’t it really rather silly to tell us to compare Mao’s writing with the military writings of the earlier Marxist-Leninist leaders to discover Mao’s mistakes? (Ibid., p. 14)

The defenders of Mao make great play with the specific and particular features of the Chinese revolution in order to deny its basic features, its fundamental path, which Marxism-Leninism and the October Revolution had brilliantly illuminated. Thus, for example, in order to defend Mao Zedong’s bourgeois democratic and opportunist line of “long-term mutual supervision” between the bourgeois parties and the communist party under socialism, the “RCP” explains this away with the assertion that such a line was necessary because of the “nature of Chinese society and the historical conditions.” (Ibid., p. 49) And the “RCP” continues: “It is also important to note that at the time Mao wrote his major theoretical works on this subject, there was no historical experience of the proletariat and its Communist Party in leading the victory of a democratic revolution and building a new social order on this basis.” (Ibid., p. 49)

But this is a hoax because the “democratic” revolution is not the experience of Mao alone. A century before Mao’s writings, Marx and Engels organized the proletariat’s participation in the bourgeois democratic revolution and wrote extensively and drew important theoretical conclusions a-bout the ways and means for the proletariat to carry this revolution through to the proletarian revolution and socialism. And, on the basis of the theory of Marxism, with Lenin and the Bolsheviks at the head, the Russian proletariat led the bourgeois democratic revolution to victory in Russia on their triumphant march to the October Socialist Revolution. The fact of the matter is that it was Lenin who, as early as 1905, systematically worked out the Marxist-Leninist theory on the bourgeois democratic revolution led by the proletariat as an intermediate stage for the uninterrupted transition to the socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus, the fantastic claims that before Mao “there was no historical experience” on this fundamental question of the revolution, are a ridiculous farce. Furthermore, nowhere in the extensive writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin or Stalin, the great champions of the hegemony and undivided leadership of the proletariat and its party in the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat can anything be found to justify such an extreme opportunist policy of “long-term mutual supervision” between the capitalist parties and the communist party within a state which is allegedly the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist.

But then again, maybe there is something else to the claim that before Mao “there was no historical experience of the proletariat and its Communist Party in leading the victory of a democratic revolution and building a new social order on this basis.” Indeed there was no historical experience and there is no possibility of building the dictatorship of the proletariat on the basis of a revolution which is stopped at the democratic stage. And it is exactly here that Marxism-Leninism, which only considers the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution as a necessary stage for the immediate going over to the socialist revolution, clashes head on with Mao Zedong Thought. Mao Zedong, like the opportunists of the Second International, held that there is a Chinese wall between the bourgeois democratic and the socialist revolutions. And it was Mao Zedong Thought which blocked the democratic revolution in China from going beyond Mao’s idea of “new democracy,” from being transformed into a genuine socialist revolution. Thus, “RCP’s” defense of Mao Zedong Thought on the plea of “new historical conditions” turns out to be only further evidence of the fact that Mao Zedong Thought is not Marxism-Leninism at all but a gross distortion of it in the direction of bourgeois democracy. And it is the classics of Marxism-Leninism which show that Mao’s preachings about the “long-term mutual supervision” and “harmony of interests” between labor and capital under socialism are nothing but the social-democratic and Bukharinite thesis of the growing of capitalism into socialism.

 

Mao Zedong’s Opposition to “Dogmatism” and “Foreign Stereotypes” Was Directed Against the Experience of the October Revolution and Marxism-Leninism

 

Mao Zedong’s pronounced national chauvinist attitude towards the revolutionary experience of the international proletariat was expressed in a concentrated fashion in the campaigns he waged against “dogmatism” and “foreign stereotypes.” In his campaigns against so-called “dogmatism,” Mao did not have as his target the real dogmas, the dogmas of the Second International, the trotskyites, the modern revisionists and other opportunists. On the contrary, within the “foreign stereotypes” and “foreign patterns” which Mao rejected, were included also the principles of Marxism-Leninism and the positive and revolutionary experience of the international proletariat, particularly the experience of the socialist revolution and socialist construction in the Soviet Union. Mao continually harped against “blindly following Soviet experience,” and he talked a great deal about the need to “sum up the positive and negative experience of the Soviet Union” in order to cast this invaluable and light-giving experience of the international proletariat in a completely negative shadow.

The defenders of Mao try to paint his hostility to the “Soviet experience” in “anti-revisionist” colors. But this is a gross distortion. In fact Mao did not differentiate between the Soviet experience under Lenin and Stalin which is Marxist-Leninist and socialist experience, and the Soviet revisionist experience under the Khrushchovites which is anti-Leninist, capitalist and social-imperialist experience. Furthermore, in league with the trotskyites, Titoites, Khrushchovites and all the revisionist and opportunist renegades, Mao heaped vile abuse on the great Marxist-Leninist Stalin in order to tarnish the entire magnificent epoch of socialist revolution and socialist construction in the Soviet Union.

According to Mao: “After the October Revolution, while Lenin was still alive, while the class struggle was very acute and Stalin had still not come to power, they too were full of life.” (“Talks at the Chengtu Conference,” 1958, Chairman Mao Talks to the People, Schram, p. 96) This is how Mao Zedong shamelessly threw mud at the glorious decades of J.V. Stalin’s leadership of the Bolshevik Party and the Soviet state, the dictatorship of the proletariat and genuine socialism. To claim that this type of “opposition to Soviet experience” on Mao’s part was somehow “anti-revisionist,” is absurd. The truth is Mao maintained national chauvinist views towards so-called “foreign stereotypes,” “Soviet experience,” etc., in opposition to Marxism-Leninism.

For their part, the “RCP” has raised this yellow, revisionist banner of Mao Zedong’s as their guiding principle. The “RCP” theorists have adopted as their first principle hostility to the international communist movement and the rejection of the international experience of the proletariat. And they correctly attribute this anti-Marxist-Leninist line to Mao. The “RCP” elaborates that: “...as a decisive part of forging the correct line... Mao also had to challenge and break with the force of convention within the international communist movement”; Mao had “to depart from, even ’violate,’ certain ’norms’ which some have come to regard as sacred, in such basic areas as the functioning of the Party and its relations to the masses. ...without such ’violations’ – that is to say, developments – of Marxism-Leninism, the Chinese revolution” would not have made “new breakthroughs on the path to communism.” “Had Mao...gone along with those who demanded that the Chinese revolution be a clone of the Soviet revolution, and who invoked the Soviet experience and the Soviet Union itself as a holy icon,...there would have been no Chinese revolution.” (Mao Tsetung’s Immortal Contributions, pp. 312-14) What disgusting anti-communist trash! Moreover, about this garbage dragged up from the basements of the Hoover Institute, the “RCP” declares: “It can be further said that it is even a law of revolution”!

No, you anti-communist gangsters. The iron law of revolution is that it is only by defending Marxism-Leninism, its norms, the Leninist-Stalinist teachings on the Party, and the lessons of the October Revolution, and by relentlessly combatting the revisionist scoundrels such as yourself who glory in “departing” from and “violating” the Marxist-Leninist teachings which the entire international proletariat holds sacred, that the revolution can triumph.

 

Mao Zedong’s Revisionist Thesis of “Two Paths to Power”

 

Mao raised the slogan that “the Chinese Revolution is a continuation of the October Revolution,” and similar phrases can be found in his works. But here again is Mao’s hypocrisy, because he did not agree with this idea at all. In fact, Mao Zedong created an entire, worked out theoretical position, or more precisely schematic dogma, that the road of the October Revolution is only good for the advanced, imperialist-capitalist states while the oppressed nations and peasant countries had to have a different road, their own road to liberation, which was the road of China and Mao Zedong.

In the words of “RCP,” Mao Zedong held that: “...to mechanically copy and apply to China the experience of the October Revolution in Russia, which set the general strategic orientation for revolution and the seizure of power in the capitalist countries” is an “erroneous tendency.” The issue here is not whether or not the experience of the October Revolution should be “mechanically copied.” This is only a flimsy ruse, a dodge to fool the naive. The issue here is that under the hoax of not “mechanically copying,” the “RCP” restricts the experience of Great October to a purely national phenomenon, applicable to the “capitalist countries” alone. In other words, the fundamental lessons of the October Revolution do not apply to all countries, and particularly not to the revolutions in the colonial and neo-colonial countries.

The “RCP” further elaborates Mao’s scheme of “two paths to power”: “Hoxha tries to make it sound as if Mao held that in every country the road to victory lies in surrounding the city by the countryside. Quite the contrary. Mao held specifically that the model of the October Revolution, of insurrection in the cities, would be the road to power in the imperialist countries. Furthermore Mao never held that in all dependent and colonial countries the revolution would develop along this path.” (Ibid., p. 16) Here again, the “RCP” is creating the diversion of whether or not “Mao’s road” applies to “all dependent and colonial countries”; as they themselves later explain, this “will be the road to victory in many, if not most, such countries.” (Ibid., p. 16) So the point is crystal clear: since there are “capitalist” or “imperialist” countries on the one hand and “colonial or semi-colonial and semi-feudal” countries on the other, therefore there must be two separate “general strategic orientations” – two “paths to power” – the road of the Bolsheviks and October for the “imperialist countries,” and the road of Mao and China in “many, if not most” of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Let’s further examine this anti-Marxist concoction of “two roads” as elaborated by Mao himself:

Internally, capitalist countries practice bourgeois democracy (not feudalism) when they are not fascist or not at war; in their external relations, they are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations. Because of these characteristics, it is the task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries to educate the workers and build up strength through a long period of legal struggle, and thus prepare for the final overthrow of capitalism. In these countries, the question is one of a long legal struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform, of economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers. There the form of organization is legal and the form of struggle bloodless (non-military). On the issue of war, the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries oppose the imperialist wars waged by their own countries; if such wars occur, the policy of these Parties is to bring about the defeat of the reactionary governments of their own countries. The one war they want to fight is the civil war for which they are preparing. But this insurrection and war should not be launched until the bourgeoisie becomes really helpless, until the majority of the proletariat are determined to rise in arms and fight, and until the rural masses are giving willing help to the proletariat. And when the time comes to launch such an insurrection and war, the first step will be to seize the cities, and then advance into the countryside, and not the other way about. All this has been done by Communist Parties in capitalist countries, and it has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia.

China is different however. The characteristics of China are that she is not independent and democratic but semi-colonial and semi-feudal, that internally she has no democracy but is under feudal oppression and that in her external relations she has no national independence but is oppressed by imperialism. It follows that we have no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize the workers to strike. Basically, the task of the Communist Party here is not to go through a long period of legal struggle be-for launching insurrection and war, and not to seize the big cities first and then occupy the countryside, but the reverse. (Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 219-20)

Such is the treachery of Mao Zedong Thought. What is it that makes “China different” from the capitalist countries in the ideas of the “greatest Marxist-Leninist” Mao? It is that the road of the October Revolution of Lenin and Stalin “has been proved correct” only in the capitalist countries but is however inapplicable to China!

To unravel Mao’s anti-Marxist mumbo jumbo it should be pointed out that Lenin, too, exposed Kautsky and the leaders of the Second International who with similar arguments rejected the international significance of the October Revolution. Regarding these revisionist critics, Lenin pointed out:

In Russia, the dictatorship of the proletariat must inevitably differ in certain specific features from that in the advanced countries, owing to the very great backwardness and petty bourgeois character of our country. But the basic forces – and the basic forms of social economy – are the same in Russia as in any capitalist country, so that these specific features can relate only to what is not most important. (V.I. Lenin, “Economics and Politics in the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat,” Collected Works, Vol.30, p. 108)

Clearly Mao Zedong too, is grabbing at “specific features” in order to throw out the window what is most important in the experience of the October Revolution. The basic social forces at work in Russia operated in the same way as in China and in every other country made up of antagonistic classes – proletarians and capitalists, landlords and peasants, etc.

In his above thesis, Mao displays his extreme rigidity of concept and the shallow woodiness of his anti-Marxist dogmas. And Mao’s rank schematism gives rise to nothing but typically social-democratic conclusions. Just look at Mao’s so-called arguments. Is it true that legal and parliamentary struggle played no role at all in China? No, in fact, at one point in the revolution the Communist Party participated in parliamentary struggle in league with the ruling party. Nor did this rule out the fact that at the same time the revolutionary armed struggle was also being waged. Nor was this situation exceptional to China as, for example, during the Spanish Civil War when parliamentary struggle was also utilized by the revolution. Furthermore, is it not the case that in China, just as in any country where the proletariat exists, this class must be organized and there is a question of “economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers,” etc.? (More on this later on.) Is it not simply social-democratic and Browderite reformism to describe the task of the communist parties in the capitalist countries as: “a long period of legal struggle,” that “In these countries, the question is one of a long legal struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform,” etc.? Don’t the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the need for illegal forms of struggle, revolutionary mass struggle, etc., in order to prepare for the insurrection apply to all countries, even the most “bourgeois democratic”? Aren’t Lenin’s teachings on the need for illegal as well as legal organization for a successful struggle against imperialism universally valid? Mao writes as though in the “bourgeois democratic” countries the proletariat is granted the “legal right to organize” when in the most democratic bourgeois states these rights are won only through arduous struggle and are inevitably extremely limited. Besides this, there are fascist capitalist countries (note; Mao was writing in 1938) and other militarist and semi-feudal capitalist states as well as those states which are undergoing increasing fascization under the mantle of “bourgeois democracy” with their countless anti-communist and anti-working class laws and measures that restrict the “use of parliament” and the “legal right to strike” to the point that these things have become very hollow indeed. In this regard, how was it that China was so “different” from the October Revolution, which everyone knows was prepared by the fearless Bolsheviks under the conditions of the bloodstained military-feudal absolutism of tsarist Russia?

It is clear that Mao is following in the footsteps of the opportunist social-democrats of Lenin’s time. They also denied that the lessons of the October Revolution were of an international character, claiming that they could not apply to “democratic” Europe as they were suited only to the conditions of “Asiatic barbarism.” Mao Zedong simply wants to turn this on its head. This is why Mao has concocted this completely schematic picture, and a completely social-democratic one at that, of a purely legal, parliamentary, reformist and peaceful development of the revolution in the capitalist countries and makes the outrageous assertion that such a development “has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia”! Thus, Mao advocated the stereotype of the non-revolutionary West in contrast to the revolutionary East, and the non-revolutionary proletariat as opposed to the revolutionary peasantry. This is what lies behind Mao’s idea that “China however is different.’’ What a travesty of Marxism-Leninism!

Another “specific feature” of Mao’s rigid stereotype is his thesis that “capitalist countries...are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations.” Here again Mao is trying to create a formula to the effect that the road of the October Revolution is a peculiar phenomenon to oppressor and not oppressed nations like China. And here again Mao is arguing from a completely opportunist and social-democratic position. The world system of imperialism is a system of the savage oppression of nations, both capitalistically undeveloped nations and fully capitalist ones. There are many contemporary and historical examples of advanced capitalist and imperialist nations being subject to the domination of powerful imperialisms. Defeated Germany after World War I is such a case. And the enslavement of defeated Japan and shattered Western Europe by a much strengthened U.S. imperialism after the Second World War remains in force to this day. Before Mao it was Karl Kautsky who attempted to prettify the imperialist system with the argument that imperialism only strives to subjugate agrarian territories and nations and not industrial ones. Against this idea Lenin pointed out: “The characteristic feature of imperialism is precisely that it strives to annex not only agrarian territories, but even most highly industrialized regions (German appetite for Belgium; French appetite for Lorraine).” (Lenin, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,” Collected Works, Vol. 22, pp. 268-69) Thus, Mao’s argument is none other than that of the renegade Kautsky.

Like the renegades of the Second International, Mao Zedong argues in this vein in order to create a Chinese wall between the bourgeois democratic and socialist revolution, to separate the anti-imperialist and socialist tasks of the revolution with a gaping chasm. It was this gaping chasm created by Mao Zedong Thought which stood in the way of the uninterrupted transition of the Chinese bourgeois democratic, anti-imperialist revolution into a genuine socialist revolution. Moreover, this is one of the fundamental features of the anti-Leninist theory of “three worlds.” And therefore it is one of the key ingredients of the anti-Marxist schematism in the political line of the “three worldist” sects such as the “RCP.”

The “RCP” agrees completely with Mao that an artificial Chinese wall must be erected between the bourgeois democratic revolution and the proletarian socialist revolution. For the “RCP,” any bourgeois democratic deviation of Mao and the Chinese after liberation is justified because China’s revolution was bourgeois democratic and thus cannot be expected to become a truly proletarian socialist revolution – that is, not ever. At the same time, also guided by Mao’s idea of the insurmountable gulf between the bourgeois democratic and socialist revolutions the “RCP” has invoked an anti-Marxist taboo to the effect that the proletariat, in carrying out the socialist revolution, must not and may not take up any democratic tasks. And it is on this basis that the “RCP” virulently condemns the anti-imperialist struggles of the proletariat of Western Europe, Japan, Canada, etc., against U.S. imperialist domination under the hoax that to do so, to wage anti-imperialist struggle, necessitates abandonment of the socialist revolution and an alliance with one’s own bourgeoisie.

On this point the “RCP” is in complete ideological harmony with the other “three worldists” who have written off the proletarian socialist revolution in these states altogether, and advocate an alliance with the internal monopoly bourgeoisie under the hoax of a struggle against the two superpowers, or more precisely, against Soviet social-imperialism. These “three worldist” formula worshippers are thus in the identical anti-Marxist position of creating a wall between the bourgeois democratic and socialist revolutions and between the democratic and socialist tasks of the revolution. It is for this reason that the “RCP” and all the “three worlds” the theorists jump up and down raving against the Marxist-Leninists for allegedly “denying two-stage revolution,” “combining two stages into one,” etc. However, demagogy is cheap. The issue here is that the “three worlds” schematists place the revolution into either “purely bourgeois democratic stage” or “purely socialist stage” compartments and then clamp down anti-Marxist-Leninist “sacred laws” onto each stage: (a) that the bourgeois democratic revolution must be divided by a wall from the socialist revolution and therefore cannot and must not carry out any socialist tasks, nor can such a revolution be uninterruptedly carried through to the socialist stage; and (b) that the revolution cannot be socialist in character if it is still faced with democratic tasks, or to express the same “sacred law” from the other side, the socialist revolution must be forbidden to carry out any tasks of a democratic or anti-imperialist nature. Such is the revisionist doctrinairism of Mao Zedong Thought.

 

The Theory of Encircling the Cities from the Countryside Denies the Hegemony of the Proletariat in the Revolution

 

The final and most telling “specific feature” which Mao clings to in order to trumpet his “Chinese path to power” is the specific course of the armed struggle in China: that in the October Revolution the insurrection was launched in the cities and advanced into the countryside whereas in China the war took the course of encircling the cities from the countryside. From this fact, Mao Zedong created an entire theory of encircling the cities from the countryside, an anti-Marxist-Leninist theory which is at the center of the so-called “Chinese road.” Moreover, this “brilliant strategic concept” of Mao’s was built up as a universal pattern applicable and mandatory for all countries with the possible exception of the imperialist states. The Chinese revisionist leaders even demanded that “Mao’s road” be followed in Spain! In official Chinese literature the concept of encircling the cities from the countryside was even extended to the course for the world revolution, with the “countryside” of Asia, Africa and Latin America surrounding the “cities” of the imperialist metropolises. These are the very same anti-Marxist-Leninist ideas that are at the bottom of Mao’s theory of “three worlds.”

Far from a “brilliant new Chinese path to power,” a path more applicable than that of the October Revolution for the undeveloped countries, the theory of encircling the cities from the countryside is the height of rank schematism. Such a formal pattern has been demolished by events and real life over and over again. Most recently the development of the revolution in Iran is a great demonstration of the absurdity of Mao’s so-called “strategic concept.” To condemn the revolutions of the proletariat and toiling masses of Asia, Africa and Latin America to such a scheme is to condemn these revolutions to disaster.

Mao Zedong’s thesis of surrounding the cities by the countryside is not simply the description of the course of the military operations in China’s liberation war. To the contrary, it is a cover for definite anti-Marxist-Leninist theories which negate the hegemony of the proletariat and the role of the cities in the revolution. No, “Mao’s road” of encircling the cities from the countryside is a diabolical theory of distrust of the proletariat which replaces proletarian hegemony in the revolution with that of the peasantry. This theory that in China the revolution could do without the urban proletariat and that the revolution didn’t have to be organized in the cities simultaneously with the work in the countryside, is another ugly manifestation of the pragmatism of Mao Zedong Thought. This road was not illuminated by Marxism-Leninism. Quite the opposite. As Mao says: “For so many years previously (prior to formulating the “general line” including encircling the cities from the countryside – ed.) we were working in the dark.” (Chairman Mao Talks to the People, Schram, p. 172) Put simply, the road of encircling the cities was formulated by Mao not on the basis of Marxism but was stumbled on as Mao and the CPC groped in the “dark.”

Marxist-Leninist theory and the October Revolution had in fact indicated a different road for the Chinese revolution than Mao’s road of encircling the cities from the countryside. In answer to this charge, the “RCP” demands “where in the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, is a clear line presented on how to wage the armed seizure of power in a country like China?” (The Communist, May 1979, p. 14) Indeed, for those whose minds are confounded by the eclectic formulations of Mao Zedong Thought, their lack of Marxism may leave them, as Mao says, “in the dark.” But in fact Marxism-Leninism indicates “a clear line” for the proletariat of all countries, including China. For example, there is nothing unclear about Stalin’s writings on the course of the Chinese revolution, and Stalin’s clear line is not in agreement with Mao’s road. In Stalin’s works, he clearly outlines the specific features of the Chinese revolution. It was Stalin who stressed the need for the proletariat to lead the peasant masses in agrarian revolution as an essential condition for the victory of the Chinese revolution, pointing out that there are “even Chinese Communists who do not consider it possible to unleash revolution in the countryside.” (“Prospects of Revolution in China,” On the Opposition, p. 510) And it was Stalin who emphasized the fact that “In China the armed revolution is fighting the armed counter-revolution. That is one of the specific features and one of the advantages of the Chinese revolution...the Communists in China must devote special attention to work in the army.” (Ibid., p. 505) But do these specific features justify a policy of abandoning the cities and the proletarians concentrated there? Not in the least.

Stalin, speaking under the heading “The Proletariat and the Hegemony of the Proletariat in China,” gave a very definite answer to this question:

I think that the Chinese Communists should orientate themselves first and foremost on the proletariat.... I know that among the Chinese Communists there are comrades who do not approve of workers going on strike for an improvement of their material conditions and legal status, and who try to dissuade the workers from sinking. .. That is a great mistake, comrades. It is a very serous underestimation of the role and importance of the Chinese proletariat. This fact should be noted in the theses as something decidedly objectionable. It would be a great mistake if the Chinese Communists failed to take advantage of the present favorable situation to assist the workers to improve their material conditions and legal status, even through strikes. Otherwise, what purpose does the revolution in China serve? The proletariat cannot be a leading force if during strikes its sons are flogged and tortured by agents of imperialism. These medieval outrages must be stopped at all costs in order to heighten the sense of power and dignity among the Chinese proletarians, and to make them capable of leading the revolutionary movement. Without this, the victory of the revolution in China is inconceivable. (Ibid., pp. 513-14)

Could Stalin have presented his position against the “very serious underestimation of the role and importance of the Chinese proletariat” more clearly? Nevertheless, to Mao the work in the cities and hence in the urban proletariat was only subsidiary at best and quite unimportant. As already discussed, Mao held social-democratic and reformist ideas about the organization of the proletariat and he considered this work non-revolutionary and quite unnecessary for the revolution.

Among Mao’s legitimizations for the abandonment of the work in the cities was the severity of the White terror. As pointed out earlier, Mao argued that since in China there was “no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize workers to strike,” there was therefore no question of organizing “economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers.” In other words, in the face of reaction nothing can be done but to abandon the workers to the “education” and tender mercies of the KMT butchers and the imperialist exploiters! To look into what Mao’s position on the work in the cities actually was, there is very little, almost nothing, written about this work in Mao’s works. But according to the CPC it was Liu Shaoqi who provided the “model” tactics on this question: “As for mass work in the cities during that period, the principal policies should have been those advanced by Comrade Liu Shao-chi, the exponent of the correct line for work in the White areas.” (see ”Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party,” adopted by the CPC Central Committee, 1945, in Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. III, pp. 198-202, 1965 edition) And Liu’s basic tactic for work in the cities was “to act chiefly on the defensive (and not on the offensive)” and to “work under cover for a long time and accumulate strength.” {Ibid.) In fact, the CPC with this “correct line” basically abandoned the cities, liquidated the Party organization in the KMT areas and failed to “accumulate strength” in the urban areas during the course of the liberation war. Furthermore, it cannot be claimed that this “model” tactic was only recommended as a result of the harshness of the repression following the 1927 counterrevolution. It is well known that the Chinese leaders held that “Comrade Mao Tsetung’s idea that for a long time we should employ our main strength to create rural base areas, (and) use the rural areas to encircle the cities” (Ibid., p. 184) – in other words to retreat from the cities – was not only the general line for China but for all peasant countries. (Liu Shaoqi’s position as the “advocate of the correct line” for the cities brings up another indication of the Chinese leaders’ distrust of the proletariat: that is the idea that the working class and the cities are the source of revisionism. It has been widely floated through the Chinese revisionist circles, and it is completely consistent with Mao’s basic viewpoint, that the arch-revisionism of Liu Shaoqi was the natural result of Liu’s responsibility for work in the cities and the proletariat, work which was allegedly inherently non-revolutionary and tainted with reformism and bureaucracy as opposed to the so-called “Yenan way” of Mao in the Chinese countryside.)

In the same resolution of the CPC Central Committee cited above, it states:

Comrade Mao Tsetung also pointed out that the vast rural areas inhabited by the broad masses of the peasantry are the indispensable, vital positions of the Chinese revolution (revolutionary villages can encircle the cities, but revolutionary cities cannot detach themselves from the villages), and that China can and must establish armed revolutionary base areas as the starting point for countrywide victory. (Ibid., p. 198)

Thus, for Mao, it was only the rural areas and the peasantry which were “indispensable, vital positions of the Chinese revolution” whereas the cities and the proletariat were of less consequence or of no consequence at all and were to take a back seat and wait for liberation to be brought to them from the peasantry! Of course, nowhere do the Chinese give a serious argument for this line which is diametrically opposed to Marxism-Leninism, to the experience of the October Revolution, to the correct advice of Stalin, etc. No, this anti-Marxist line is justified with idiotic dithyrambs such as “revolutionary villages can encircle the cities, but revolutionary cities cannot detach themselves from the villages”!

Due to the influence of Mao Zedong Thought, the Communist Party of China’s proletariat could not possibly fulfill its proper leading role in the Chinese revolution. Although in the 1920’s the CPC had undivided leadership of the militant proletariat and strength in the cities, by the time of liberation in 1949 the Party’s strength in the cities and the urban proletariat was almost nonexistent. The situation was so bad that Mao himself describes how the CPC was at a loss to find urban cadres and turned to the army to find them. This situation where the Chinese proletariat was not brought to the forefront of the liberation struggle could only have done a great deal of harm to the revolution, keeping it from being transformed into a genuine socialist revolution. Even if it is conceded that due to the particular savagery of Chiang Kai-shek’s 1927 counterrevolution there were devastating setbacks in the cities, it is very striking that nowhere in the works of Mao is there a hint that there was any particular drawback to the proletariat not taking its proper position in the revolution. In fact, Mao’s entire theory of encircling the cities from the countryside is a schematic pattern for justifying this situation, for one-sidedly absolutizing the role of the countryside and the peasantry, and for underestimating the role and importance of the proletariat in the revolution. And this pattern has been elevated to a universal stereotype, not only “correct for China” but for undeveloped countries everywhere.

Fortunately, despite the national chauvinist and arrogant claims of the Chinese revisionists, the proletariat and people of these countries are not predestined for this anti-Marxist road of Mao Zedong. On the contrary, the revolution in the undeveloped countries, equally with the developed countries, has only one road to genuine liberation and socialism, and that is the road of Marxism-Leninism and the October Revolution. This is the road which the Party of Labor of Albania and the Albanian working class and people have traversed. The example of the Albanian people’s liberation war against the nazi-fascist occupiers is a brilliant demonstration of the fact that the armed uprising does not have to and must not take the anti-Marxist course of leaving the working class on the sidelines and abandoning the cities even in a backward country such as Albania was at the time. Describing the victorious course of the people’s uprising, the PLA points out:

The uprising found its inspiration and began in the cities. As it extended and strengthened, the center of gravity passed to the countryside. The village became the main base of the uprising and the peasantry its main force. At the same time, the uprising was being extended and deepened in the cities, too. The countryside was liberated first, and this served as the starting point for the liberation of the cities and the whole country. However, right to the end the city remained the inspirer and leader of the whole uprising. (History of the Party of Labor of Albania, p. 662)

The fact that the Albanian working class, with its Marxist-Leninist party at the head, was able to carry out its historic mission as the leader of the revolution, has ensured the triumph of genuine socialism in Albania. Among other factors, this factor has guaranteed the uninterrupted development of the revolution through the anti-imperialist democratic stage to the stage of the construction of the economic base of socialism, through to the present stage of the complete construction of socialist society. The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania is the prototype of the new socialist society which can only be realized and consolidated under one banner – the invincible banner of Marxism-Leninism and the October Revolution.