1. If our fraternal vanguard comrades in Turkey, Peru and the Philippines and any other countries where we have fraternal vanguard comrades unanimously or nearly unanimously ask MIM to join in a united front against Third World (TW) fascism, we will. We will also consider the opinion of fraternal parties in the TW engaged in armed struggle. [Section deleted--ed.]
In this united front, we will be asked to put aside our third cardinal in some realms of action for the benefit of international unity against TW fascism . We will unite with human-rights, civil liberties, labor and internationalist social-democratic organizations against TW fascism except to the extent that we will be allowed to criticize labor aristocrats and bureaucrats for blocking direct aid and solidarity with the TW Maoists. In the case of pro-labor aristocracy organizations like the AIFLD and Trotskyists, which never did anything for the TW revolution and in fact aided its repression, we will be allowed to criticize them as ever before. Our own cardinals for party membership will not change, but we will simply fall silent about previous targets of criticism unless they fail to mobilize against TW fascism in their own ways. In this way we seek to split the imperialist country labor aristocracy by encouraging an enlightened internationalist element to break away, perhaps with a minority belief that the economic position of the labor aristocracy depends on the raising of TW working class conditions in the long-run.
In the event MIM is criticized by its allies in public, and this appears to be a general line problem and not a one-time mistake by our allies, the TM and IM will be obliged to call a Congress to determine whether or not MIM will continue with its united front against TW fascism policy.
MIM would raise the issue of right opportunism, but if our fraternal vanguard comrades all believe that our d. of p. is not on the agenda and they are willing to state so in writing, then we have a duty to do what is best for the international proletariat, and not just what would be best for the immediate agenda of the dictatorship of the proletariat here. The above resolution will not be published, but it may be shown to our TW fraternal vanguard comrades.
2. In the event of the birth of a new "Maoist" party in imperialist North Amerika that is endorsed by Adolfo Olaechea and/or the CPP, MIM will adopt the following policy: It will publicly criticize whoever is newly anointed and the anointer. In the event that PCP derivatives or the CPP merely follow a policy of anointing none as vanguard, MIM will not change course.
If any fraternal vanguard comrades criticize us for our labor aristocracy line in public, we will criticize them back in public, even in the event of the passage of question #1 above, because presumably, in such a united front, we will also be owed centralist unity and non- criticism except to spur us to increase direct solidarity with the TW Maoists.
3. Depending on how badly events turn out, the International Minister may come to believe that we need to break with the revisionism of a fraternal vanguard party completely. Such breaks require a special Congress vote. They are equivalent to throwing several people out of the party at once, the only difference being we throw out our international comrades instead of MIM comrades.
June 9, 1996
12 7. No matter what happens, don't let anyone stop us from distributing the literature of the PCP from before Gonzalo's arrest along with likenesses of Gonzalo and martyrs.
13 8. Uphold #7 with the exception that if Luis Arce Borja claims to have an order from the PCP-CC, we will stop whatever we are asked to.
14. June 9
"On Proletarian Leadership in the Imperialist Countries"
MIM reaffirms its support for its 1995 Congress Resolution called "Reject the Outdated Idea of an Emerging International Center." Already in the past year, the application of that resolution in struggle has proved fruitful in varied and numerous circumstances.
The reorienting of the international communist movement on the basis of Maoism and its unification within those parts that already uphold Maoism turns on questions of varying degrees of universal significance.
Those questions of absolutely universal significance include Deng Xiaoping, Hoxhaite, Khruschevite, Brezhnevite, Gorbachevite and Hua Guofeng revisionism. Also, the earlier generations of revisionism and social-democracy including Trotskyism in the imperialist countries remain of absolutely universal significance. Regardless of national or local conditions, Maoist party members must be unanimous in their opposition to Chinese and ex-Soviet revisionism. MIM refers to this as a matter of its first two cardinal questions, one each for the Soviet Union historically and the Cultural Revolution in China. We refer to these questions as absolutely universal because they do not vary by national conditions.
As Mao explained, there is no Marxism-Leninism that is not integrated with national conditions. Hence, it will not suffice to be fully Maoist by taking the correct stand on questions of universal historical significance within the international communist movement. The first two cardinal questions are a very important first step to make and likewise, those comrades most able to integrate Maoism with national conditions are more likely to have the stand on the first two cardinals correct.
Restating Mao, the Peruvian Maoists employ the concept of "Guiding Thought" as a convenient phrase to refer to the integration of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with concrete national conditions. While comrade Gonzalo was still free, the PCP Central Committee wrote: "Thus, each revolution must specify its own Guiding Thought, otherwise there is no application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, nor development of a revolution."
MIM's third cardinal on the white working class of the imperialist countries is an example of "Guiding Thought." At the first level, the question of class formation is a universal one. All Maoists must use the same definitions of classes. However, in the end, the breakdown of classes in a society and what to do with them is a question for the formation of a Guiding Thought.
In Volume One of the Selected Works, Mao sets forth definitions of the classes he will analyze in Chinese society in the first essay. The second essay in Volume one is already the application of those definitions in an analysis of Chinese society.
Such questions as the breakdown of society into classes, the existence of a class as opposed to scattered elements of a class, the particular class content of the national question, whether or not a society is still semi-feudal--these are matters of the Guiding Thought and cannot be answered by way of quotation from the classic works of Marxism- Leninism-Maoism. As an example where attention to particular detail is necessary, we can point to Ancient Rome, where Marx said there was a still-born property-less proletariat. Likewise in Ancient China of almost 1000 years ago, there was a manufacturing sector and a proto-capitalist class. Yet though the definitions of proletariat and capitalist might apply to some elements of society in Ancient Rome or China, we cannot really say that the proletariat as a class existed, especially in the way we understand that term scientifically as a class today. That is a matter of integrating Marxism-Leninism- Maoism with the concrete conditions.
In the imperialist countries, there is not a single organization other than MIM that seeks to apply the definitions of proletariat and semi- proletariat. Hence, there can be no question as yet as to whether any but MIM is a Maoist organization in the imperialist countries. There is no point over arguing which Guiding Thought is correct for which imperialist country when there is no organization other than MIM starting from definitions appropriate for the era of imperialism that Lenin analyzed and named.
We can name the major obstacles to taking up the universal aspects of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the imperialist countries. In order of declining importance they are bourgeois democratic prejudice, post-Modernism, hegemonic dogmatism and populism.
The significance of bourgeois democratic prejudice is that many who set out to conduct a scientific analysis of classes in the imperialist societies recoil when they learn that the proletariat can only be a tiny minority in the imperialist countries. They then turn around and alter the definition of proletariat or take-up outright social- democracy in order to achieve a "majority" as the vehicle for progress within imperialist countries, conveniently by omitting the question of opening borders to obtain a majority of proletarians or former peasants. Social-democracy has not vanished as a trend in the world today, principally because it is based in an actually existing class, the semi-proletariat. Over time, the task of separating from the social-democracy of the Second International in the imperialist countries has become more urgent and more difficult, not less.
The second major obstacle seen is post-Modernism, which is often mushed together with bourgeois democratic prejudice. Where post- Modernism is not merged together with bourgeois democratic prejudice, it does not seek a majority for its own sake, but it takes advantage of Marx's process of defining the proletariat to redefine the proletariat to include white-collar workers, "pink-collar" workers and other such inventions of the intelligentsia including those related to environmentalism, feminism and anti-racism. Such post-Modernist attempts to change the definition of proletariat are anti-Leninist in that they deny that imperialism is an historical era that we are still in and that the definition of proletariat remains unchanged since Lenin's day. Post-modernism is also counter to the MLM understanding of the world as divided into nations, and the fact that today the principal contradiction is between imperialism and the oppressed nations--a contradiction of utmost violence and not just a matter of language reform or tolerance psychology instruction for instance.
Hegemonic dogmatism is the third obstacle to a correct development of Maoism in the imperialist countries. Dogmatists take up quotations from the classics of MLM without regard to concrete conditions. They quote Mao on the united states and other societies in a way that Mao abhorred. They escape an analysis of concrete conditions by quotation. Such dogmatism by itself is nothing new, but gains dangerous force when backed by the prestige of Maoist revolutions not in the imperialist countries. Hegemonic dogmatism is then the denial of the need for a study of concrete conditions combined with the denial of a need for a Guiding Thought.
Finally, there is populism as a roadblock to development of Maoism in the imperialist countries. Often indistinguishable from bourgeois democratic prejudice, it becomes distinguishable when those comrades who define and apply the definitions of the classes correctly, nonetheless never seek to mention them again. Instead, such populists always speak of the "people" and their just demands via the environment or education, where there might be a congruence between the interests of the proletariat and the middle- classes combined which form the people. In practice, this is a way to lead comrades into being swamped by middle-class concerns and drag us back to the Second International. The way to separate from populism right now is to put the principal emphasis on setting up the proletarian pole in the imperialist countries. That entails as its corollary the destructive side of attacking revisionism and social- democracy as principal over allying with the middle-classes--until that time we can be sure there are Maoist parties with the four cardinals set up in the imperialist countries. This does not mean we do not "walk on two legs," but we must be sure to ensure proletarian leadership by carrying out the destructive phase of clearing out revisionism and social-democracy as a higher priority for us now than allying with the middle classes.
[Referred to as 14, the above passed unanimously.]
15. "On Hegemonism in 1996"
As MIM pointed out in its 1995 resolutions, the very idea of "an emerging international center" leads to hegemonism. Hegemonism is the ideology backing an ignorant and dogmatic intervention at the level of activity that should be left to the Guiding Thought.
Hegemonism is definitely the lesser evil than revisionism in many circumstances. 1) When there is no banner of Mao upholding the first two cardinal principles in a society,. we can hardly cry "hegemonism!" if foreigners raise that banner in a society. 2) When some organization is waving the red flag to oppose the red flag, we can hardly object if outside Maoists intervene, if the question is of absolutely universal significance. For example, if an organization in one of the semi-colonies waves the red flag but instructs everyone to lay down their arms as a matter of principle, such an organization cannot cry "hegemonism!" when outside Maoists unmask revisionism.
In 1996, at least two open questions before the international communist movement involve difficulties of hegemonism--the "peace accords" idea in Peru and the white working class in the imperialist countries.
In the peace accords controversy, there are at least two camps that arose by the end of 1993 calling themselves followers of MLM- Gonzalo Thought, at least two of which claim to MIM that they will never lay down their arms, and that as a matter of principle. Left alone at that level, it would have been hegemonism for MIM to decide which camp is the genuine and which is the fake. One side claims that leadership is principal, and the PCP needs to continue following its Central Committee led by Comrade Gonzalo in prison, as the initial undisputed PCP-CC resolutions requested after the arrest of Gonzalo. The other camp claimed that the "masses make history" and that the other camp was capitulationist.
Nonetheless, forced to recognize one camp or the other as legitimate, in 1994, MIM made a determination to the best of its ability that the anti-capitulator camp had the party majority. We continued to respect all claimants of MLM-Gonzalo Thought who claimed in principle never to lay down arms this side of communism.
In 1996, MIM obtained the A World to Win on Peru supposedly published in 1995 by the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (Co-RIM). On pages 64 and 65 of that magazine are some documents from one camp claiming MLM Gonzalo-Thought that the RCP-led Co-RIM calls "right opportunist," which are in fact out-and-out calls for counterrevolution by any standards of the universals of MLM. Likewise it surfaces that those in the capitulator camp supposedly defending MLM Gonzalo Thought refer to the PCP Central Committee as "totalitarian." In these regards, it is no longer a question of hegemonism, but a question of the absolutely universal aspects of Maoism that the capitulator camp must be criticized. In practice, in the imperialist countries, that has also meant we must defend the work of Luis Arce Borja.
By contrast, the RCP-USA-led RIM took a centrist and hegemonist approach to the question of Peru. It presents pages of analysis of Peru as if it could know better than the PCP itself, the conditions in Peru. Instead of choosing scientific Maoist leadership to follow in Peru, the RCP-USA has intervened in a hegemonic way on questions of conditions in Peru. For itself, it has come to the conclusion that the call for "peace accords" is "objectively counterrevolutionary" based on its own two years of study of conditions in Peru.
We cannot deny that science is not a matter of genetic or cultural background. A Maoist scientist in the united states could investigate conditions in Peru and arrive at a Guiding Thought for Peru. Such is the nature of science. However, MIM does not believe that the RCP- USA scientists surpass those on the ground in Peru.
Where there are those who act as if guided by a global Guiding Thought, MIM has referred to "RIM Thought." RIM Thought is an excuse for failing to study the concrete conditions or failing to follow those leaders who have studied the concrete conditions.
Followers of RIM Thought believe for instance that we cannot unmask "MPP-USA" police plot actions in the united states without permission from Peru. The followers of RIM Thought believe that somehow the leaders of the "New Flag" could be watched from thousands of miles away, and that the comrades back in Lima could see all the forgeries and disinformation being spread by the "MPP- USA" leaders in the united states.
Since 1993 another kind of hegemonism has arisen where legitimate Maoists ask MIM to drop its third cardinal, based on no comparable analysis or Guiding Thought concerning the imperialist countries. In fact, these requests have come despite the knowledge that MIM is the organization of parties and pre-parties in the imperialist countries that has the most correct stance on the cardinal questions of universal import. This goes so far that some legitimate Maoists from outside the imperialist countries have asked MIM to drop its third cardinal while supporting an organization in the imperialist countries defending Gorbachev that doesn't even call itself "Maoist."
Hegemonic dogmatism can only rally the "grass tips." It has no potential in the imperialist countries for mobilizing the grass roots in a Maoist direction. Barely aware of the labor aristocracy issue, the hegemonic dogmatists believe that trotting out old quotes from the classics suffice on the question of women's equality as well. The only people interested in such are members of revisionist organizations, and hence hegemonic dogmatism's reliance on right opportunist ideas of popular front. Without a Guiding Thought to address lifestyle politics in feminism, environmentalism, anti-racism and peace and justice movements, hegemonic dogmatism has no chance of winning over people from mass organizations and generating Maoists from scratch. In contrast, MIM has already had success in training Maoists without having to rely on the revisionist organizations.
There is no defense for the attacks on MIM in terms of the universal aspects of Maoism. A different but related question is why then do these attacks on MIM's third cardinal arise, especially in the context of support for revisionism or neo-revisionism in the imperialist countries? The answer for this can be found in the usual sizeism, pragmatism, reformism and Menshevism. However, we must also accord a high role to sectarianism, right opportunism and the bribery of the labor bureaucracy.
[Above referred to as resolution 15 in Session I, passed unanimously.]
17. "On Left-wing Social-Democracy or Internationalist Social- Democracy"
Left-wing social democrats used to be those social-democrats most willing to ally with communists to prevent fascist victory, most willing to march in defense of trade unions together and those most willing to work with communist-led trade unions. Today none of these issues are relevant in our appraisal of social-democracy in the imperialist countries.
The sole criterion of interest in allying with social-democrats in the imperialist countries today is internationalism. Our friends in Montreal, Europe and Australia often distinguish themselves in remarkable solidarity with the people of Peru or the Philippines. This kind of social-democrat, important in MIM circles, upholds the equal right to life of all nations' peoples and is at least somewhat aware of the u.s. imperialist role in bringing bloodshed to the Third World. In this way, the minority of internationalist social-democrats proves that it belongs in the proletarian camp.
The problem that internationalist social-democrats present is that they carry along their Menshevism on the imperialist countries into the proletarian camp. In 1994, the "MPP-USA" leaders pretty much wrote off revolution in the united states and said that in the proportion that one believed revolution impossible here, one should get on board with the "MPP-USA."
Not surprisingly with that line, the "MPP-USA" proceeded to list our name in publicity with the social-democratic CP-USA and Committees of Correspondence. To them it didn't matter anyway, because there was no prospect for revolution here.
Social-democrats especially dedicated to their internationalism through their financial donations and publicity work can escape MIM's criticism completely. The moment the internationalist social- democrats talk about the situation in the imperialist countries, they must be criticized ruthlessly.
18. "On United Fronts with Maoist-led Support Movements"
Where there are legitimate Maoist parties in place such as in Turkey, Peru and the Philippines, MIM follows their leadership on how to build public opinion support for their causes in their countries when the parties in those countries ask us to do so. On the other hand, MIM reserves to itself the largest responsibility possible from within the imperialist countries for supporting the People's War in the semi-colonies--bringing down U.S. imperialism. No comrade no matter how respected will be allowed by MIM to spread revisionism about imperialist country conditions.
Concretely, that means if the genuine Maoist parties of the semi- colonies seek to have MIM as a member of a united front with forces MIM would not ordinarily include in its united fronts, then MIM will follow the wishes of the parties we have unilaterally recognized as fraternal. That is true as long as it has to do with building public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed to oppose u.s imperialism and its lackeys in specific countries.
In those situations, where parties unilaterally recognized as fraternal by MIM become involved in issues of international organization or imperialist country conditions, MIM will continue to reserve the right to unmask revisionism in MIM's own fashion. Such will remain the case until there is wider agreement on MIM's third cardinal and higher forms of discipline become possible.
The presumption is that united fronts led by sojourners or exiles of the Maoist parties in the imperialist countries are led by proletarian lines. Hence, MIM can afford to play a merely supporting role as opposed to a leading role in those cases where proletarian leadership is exerted. Such recognition of the proletarian-led united front does not include publicity listing MIM with the names of revisionist organizations, because MIM does not seek to increase the confusion in the imperialist countries.
Ironically, the only way to justify these separate united fronts led by exiles of various Maoist parties is to adopt MIM's third cardinal and take up a line opposing multinational organizing. Those who believe in "one proletariat, one party" are obviously in contradiction with themselves when as more or less permanent exiles, they form separate organizations to lead support for their struggles back in the home countries. Only an extreme version of the MIM line on separate national vanguard parties can justify this approach. Likewise, the only justification for such hegemonism as occurs sometimes, is that there is no imperialist country proletariat; hence proletarian thinkers from other countries must go their own road. It is only MIM's line that allows that possibility. Those exiles and sojourners disputing MIM's third cardinal yet creating all kinds of separate organizations indicative of national distrust are in obvious self-contradiction.
The approach of united fronts led by proletarian sojourners or exiles has the danger of legitimizing that which can only be rejected by a Guiding Thought appropriate for the imperialist countries. Internationalist social-democracy or today's left-wing social- democracy is an especial danger. It will be MIM's responsibility to sweep up where non-MIM-led united fronts leave behind some dust in the eyes of the people of the imperialist countries.
19. "On Vanguard Organization in 1996"
Currently, MIM is the vanguard organization in English-speaking Canada, England, the united states, the Black nation, Aztlan and Australia. In the imperialist countries, it is especially necessary to regard as vanguard those organizations that put forward the most advanced thoughts in a society. Any other formulation of the question has proved to be objectively liquidationist.
In French-speaking Quebec, MIM had looked to Mobilisation as vanguard. This organization has turned out to be unable to steer away from social-democracy, economism or even Trotskyism. Another hopeful organization is connected to Socialisme Maintenant, which right now is the organization most similar to MIM in French- speaking Quebec. Socialisme Maintenant formed out of internationalist social-democrat circles, at least initially having the People's War in Peru as a cardinal question for itself. Thus far, this organization is even more mired in imperialist economism than the RCP-USA. For some years now, MIM has carried out the vanguard role in English-speaking Quebec. We urge the people there to join up with MIM and not seek to waste anymore time reforming other organizations from within. Perhaps at a later date, we can sit down with the people working with Mobilisation and Socialisme Maintenant. The important thing is for everyone to proceed along the Maoist road. At this time, the best way forward for people everywhere in Canada is to join MIM.
In England, MIM looks with hope toward the Stalin Society and the Communist Action Group. The latter in particular has taken a serious attitude toward study. Thus far, neither of these groups has taken up MIM's third cardinal and the Communist Action Group is soft on MIM's first two cardinals as well. We also hope to continue our polemics with Open Polemic and Red Action. We hope to work out unity with each of these groups, but right now MIM is the vanguard in England. We seek to develop MIM and maintain friendly relations with other organizations.
In Australia, there is the Committee for a Revolutionary Communist Party. This group has thus far failed to study Australia's own conditions, though it wrote a fairly lengthy magazine on Peru. Like some comrades in Quebec and Europe, the CRCPA is mired in internationalist social-democracy. It has failed to take up MIM's third cardinal. When confronted with statistics about the classes of Australia, CRCPA had nothing to say to MIM, but it has proved quite willing to nitpick MIM about Peru; even though MIM proceeds by choosing Peruvian leaders to follow, not by trying to form a guiding thought for Peru from Australia or Michigan.
Contrary to rumors spread by "MPP-USA" police among others, MIM is not a world party. It has only a vanguard role in the imperialist countries and their internal semi-colonies. MIM plans a vanguard role in at most one-quarter of the world. In actuality, MIM can only play a role amongst those able to speak Spanish or English, so for right now, the vanguard role is limited to less than one-quarter of the world that is imperialist or its internal semi-colonies and speaks those languages If asked to aid in the formation of a Maoist party in a semi-colony, MIM would say "yes," but it would also point to the PCP, TKP/ML and CPP as more obvious models and sources of useful information.
20. "On Fascism in 1996"
Fighting fascism is a valid task for any proletarian today in the imperialist countries. The fight against fascists, like the fight against cops or imperialist troops, demands a wider scope of unity than other fields of communist work, where failure to exert stricter, more proletarian leadership only advances the prospects of fascism.
However, today, like the fight against "racism" as opposed to national oppression, anti-fascism is a secondary guiding principle within the imperialist countries.
There are those seeking to take out ultraleft or right opportunist lessons of the united front led by Dimitrov and Stalin in the 1930s. Most of the time the problem is a desire to take right opportunism as the lesson from Dimitrov, occasionally with the ultraleft political economy that holds that the labor aristocracy is momentarily going to become revolutionary.
The crux of the question of fascism in the imperialist countries in 1996 is the class alliances proposed. The crux of the class alliance relevant today is that the national question does not threaten the labor aristocracy of the imperialist countries. There is no imperialist country fascism seriously threatening occupation of another imperialist country. In fact, borders in Europe are becoming less important and the fascists find themselves on the defensive, simply mobilizing to stop a one-currency Europe from developing or figuring out how they are going to fit fascism for a multinational Europe of the future. For this reason, the national question can play no progressive role in rallying the labor aristocracy to the proletarian side in the imperialist countries. Politically-speaking, this also means that the labor aristocracy supports a crackdown on the civil liberties of proletarians. As such, the labor aristocracy must be combated vigorously, with an alliance of proletarians, peasants and oppressed nationalities across the world.
The only times during the 1930s and World War II which Stalin and Dimitrov ceased to distinguish between proletarians and labor aristocrats occurred in specific contexts in which the country of a certain labor aristocracy was threatened with occupation by the enemy of the proletarian camp. From 1939 to 1941 for instance, Stalin distinguished between proletarians and labor aristocrats, because the task was to stop inter-imperialist war and keep it from spreading to the socialist camp.
During conditions of war, the conditions of the labor aristocracy are indeed shaken up and a process of re-proletarianization does occur. Such is not the situation today in Europe or the united states or Japan. In fact, alliance with the labor aristocracy for its class demands today clears the way for fascism and inspires its existence. Vague imperialist economism on wages and jobs has inspired the fascist movement of Europe to target immigrants as job-stealers. The same is true in the united states, where some fascist nuts go so far as to pick up machine-guns to shoot down Asian immigrant children.
Trying to outcheerlead the fascists in the battle over wages and unemployment leads to failure. The fascists will lead the labor aristocracy by proposing the simpler and easier courses of shoring up job security--deportation and repressive crackdowns, including boosts in military and prison employment. We must be absolutely clear that at this time, it is the anti-NAFTA, anti-GATT CP-USA and other chauvinist social-democrats that have cleared the way for Buchanan and David Duke and have made it respectable for Bob Dole to talk about declining wages and deindustrialization.
The vast majority of MIM's critics on the third cardinal are in fact unconsciously unleashing fascism, not opposing it.
[The above resolution referred to as question 20 in Session I, 1996, passed unanimously.]
21. "On Semi-Proletarian and Petty-Bourgeois Modes of Thought in 1996"
Some advanced comrades in Europe are focusing their fire on the "petty-bourgeois mode of thought." They believe it creeps into the proletarian camp and must be routed by criticism and self-criticism. We at MIM believe this approach can go a long way.
The dominant mode of thought in the imperialist countries is that of the imperialists. In the proletarian camp, however, outright imperialist thought has a harder time making the rounds and petty- bourgeois thought comes into relief.
The petty-bourgeoisie is the class most likely to believe itself above the laws of economics. In fact, the petty-bourgeoisie sees no reason to believe in social groups at all. The Amerikan settler view of "rugged individualism" and "making it on one's own" is not far from this petty-bourgeois mode of thought being combated in Europe.
The most obvious petty-bourgeois mode of thought is anarchism in the party context. The petty-bourgeoisie sees no classes and hence no reason for disciplined unity of the proletariat against the imperialists.
Petty-bourgeois thinking is doomed, but it has a way of high jacking proletarian goals. It is the petty-bourgeoisie that in left-wing post- Modernist guises makes the goal of fighting national oppression simply the goal of using polite everyday language. The goal of feminism becomes gender inclusive language and sleeping with the right people. In terms of the environment, petty-bourgeois thought is to adopt the correct lifestyle. In fact, whether it be New Age Thought, post-Modernist pseudo-feminism or pseudo-anti-racism or pseudo- environmentalism--petty-bourgeois thought and even some bourgeois thought can be boiled down to choosing the correct lifestyle. Some go so far as to label all "practice" as choosing the correct lifestyle. All of this has always given MIM a most vomitous inclination.
The bourgeoisie has its own class discipline already and manages to rule though it is a tiny minority. The bourgeoisie uses the petty- bourgeoisie, which is a substantial class in the imperialist countries, constituting the majority of Social-Democratic voters in Germany according to Lenin and Zinoviev just before the Revolution of 1917. As long as the oppressed have no class discipline, the bourgeoisie can maintain its dominance, so the bourgeoisie makes no particular effort to prevent petty-bourgeois thinking from reaching the proletarian camp.
Yet apart from the petty-bourgeois mode of thought, we must recognize the semi-proletarian mode of thought. The semi- proletarian shares much in common with the petty-bourgeoisie in the imperialist countries, being the basic stuff of the commoner. What differences there are can be traced to the relations of production. The semi-proletariat stems from a socialized production process and hence consciously and unconsciously sees the value of class discipline, whereas the petty-bourgeoisie owns his/her own means of production.
In 1996, the semi-proletarian discipline is fascist discipline. In France, we just witnessed the CP defend military employment. This is the use of discipline for the pursuit of parasitic goals, the hallmark of the labor aristocracy. It is the labor aristocracy talking about deindustrialization, opposing the GATT and NAFTA, supporting the Proposition 187 and calling for deportation of foreigners as the solution to unemployment. It is this class that Le Pen, Patrick Buchanan and David Duke have so openly mobilized as of late for its class demands.
The proletariat must attack and break the class discipline of the semi-proletariat. The proletariat should seek to use its alliance with the petty-bourgeoisie on various issues--ranging from civil liberties to equal opportunity--to pull away elements of the semi-proletariat. Not every semi-proletarian will have only semi-proletarian influences in life and we must make use of every other aspect of the semi-proletarian to divide that class.
The class demands of the semi-proletariat for increased prison and military employment must be rejected at every turn. If this puts us in alliance with petty-bourgeois fiscal conservatives, yuppies and libertarians opposed to "big government," then so be it. Indeed, all advocacy of government action for a policy approach to employment and the economy is objectively semi-proletarian at best.
The imperialists have no forward-looking possibilities for the economy. To call on the imperialists to alter the unemployment situation can only result in the creation of more useless parasitic jobs to cement the alliance of the semi-proletariat with the imperialists. At the same time any vague discontent generated from talking about oppression of imperialist country workers as a class will only increase the hate crimes it perpetrates. Whatever portion of the semi-proletarian camp will be won to the proletarian side will be won not by outbidding the imperialists on wages and benefits, but by counterpoising the forward-looking, environmentally-sound, peaceful nature of production under a proletarian regime.
[The above question 21 of Session I, 1996 was passed unanimously.]
22. "On the Historical role of G. Zinoviev"
It is an historical fact that Central Committee member G. Zinoviev snitched on the Bolsheviks at the crucial moment in October 1917 and opposed the armed uprising. "Encountering a decisive rebuff at both meetings of the C.C., Kamenev and Zinoviev made a statement on October 18 in the Menshevik newspaper. . . about the Bolsheviks' preparations for an armed uprising and said that they considered it to be an adventurous gamble."(1)
Yet Lenin stressed repeatedly thereafter that this should not be held against Zinoviev. Nearing death, Lenin said on December 24, 1922, "I shall just recall that the October episode with Zinoviev and Kamenev was, of course, no accident, but neither can the blame for it be laid upon them personally."
After October, Lenin not only kept Zinoviev in the leadership, but also Lenin made him president of the COMINTERN. How could Lenin do that? What could outweigh splitting the party and being on the wrong side at the crucial moment of the insurrection?
In spite of these actions taken by Zinoviev, Lenin held that Zinoviev's attacks on the Second International during World War I far outweighed his weak points. Without Lenin's and Zinoviev's efforts to re-orient the international communist movement, there would have been no military battle to snitch on in October, 1917. During World War I, it was Zinoviev's job to represent the Central Committee,(2) including at the most crucial Zimmerwald conferences.
Lenin knew very well that it was a rare comrade willing to go against the social-patriotism and militarism of the Second International which dragged workers into slaughtering each other in World War I. Not only did Zinoviev attack social-patriotism and imperialist militarism, but also he provided theoretical leadership along with Lenin on how to destroy the old revisionism and re-orient the international communist movement. Fundamentally that re- orientation hinged on distinguishing between proletarians and workers. It meant not fighting for the interests of the labor aristocracy. When the social-patriots said that the majority of workers favored the war, Zinoviev replied firmly that it was not the proletarians who favored the war. When the sizeists bragged about how much support they got for supporting World War I, Zinoviev said he'd rather have a party with one-fifth as many delegates, as long as it didn't vacillate. For this reason, and only because comrades Zinoviev and Lenin were able to hold out against World War I, the Bolsheviks were able eventually to turn an imperialist civil war into the world's first communist-led revolution.
This is something that Zinoviev brought to the COMINTERN as well, at Lenin's bidding. On any matter concerning the role of proletarian leadership, we will find that on the floor of the COMINTERN in his verbal comments or in Lenin's written Selected Works, Lenin always defended Zinoviev.
Who but Zinoviev would be a better choice for forming the Third International to replace the social-chauvinist Second International? According to Lenin, none other than Zinoviev was suited for this task.
Later in life, Zinoviev sold out, and even allied with Trotsky at times and ended up being shot by Stalin. Yet even so, Stalin made sure to uphold what Zinoviev said about issues of proletarian leadership, even after Zinoviev was disgraced. It is not the Marxist- Leninist method to throw out the truth just because its author was not later able to uphold it.
Just as Deng Xiaoping had to clear out the "Gang of Four" before he could carry out his sinister plans for the restoration of capitalism in China, those seeking to restore the social-patriotism of the Second Internationalism do not attack Lenin directly and instead aim their attacks at the perceived weak link of Zinoviev. We must crush the attempts of the Mensheviks to attack Zinoviev when he was correct.
When Zinoviev laughed at Trotsky's proposals for how to put the party in line with his theory of the productive forces, Lenin defended Zinoviev in "Once Again on the Trade Unions."(3) It was Trotsky's idea to boost production to defeat imperialism by using coercive methods of government administration, including the use of military organization in industrial and agricultural production. Zinoviev Trotsky accused of using propaganda methods, and Lenin defended him.(4)
After Lenin died, Trotsky disgraced himself before Zinoviev did. At that time, Zinoviev managed to play a crucial role in the defeat of Trotsky. Later when Zinoviev disgraced himself, Stalin made a point of defending what Zinoviev had done in attacking the social- democracy of the Second International. Bringing down Zinoviev did not mean Stalin was going to make peace with social-patriotism.(5)
As time passed, Mao did not try to reverse correct verdicts on Zinoviev either. The Foreign Language Press of Peking continued to publish Lenin's works that referred to Zinoviev favorably in concrete historical conditions.(6)
1. V.I. Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. 3 (NY: International Publishers, 1967), p. 831.
2. For Lenin specifically authorizing Zinoviev as representative of the CC at that time, see "Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution," Vol. 2, p. 44.
3. Ibid., Vol. 3, pp. 527-30.
4. Ibid., Vol. 3, pp. 539, 544.
5. See MIM Theory #10, p. 23.
6. See for example the Peking, 1965 edition of "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky" preface which mentions a work called Against the Stream "by G. Zinoviev and N. Lenin (Petrograd, 1918, 550 pp.)
23. "On Peru and the RIM"
With the participation of some of the RCP-USA influenced organizations in the RIM, A World to Win published a magazine on Peru. It has already proved to be the work of the center-right in our movement--those like Hua Guofeng waving the red flag to conciliate with counterrevolution. Although the document is marked as published in 1995, MIM only just received it in recent months of 1996.
Italicized in the document is a statement summing up the centrist approach to waving the red flag. "In the actual circumstances and given the relation of class forces at this stage in Peru, there is, from the standpoint of the proletariat, no need for and no correct basis for negotiations leading to the end of the People's War. There is no basis --in terms of the freedom and the necessity of the revolutionary camp on the one hand and the reactionary camp on the other--for achieving a peace accord that would not represent abandoning the revolutionary road and compromising away the fundamental interests of the people. Under these circumstances, the only kind of peace accord which would be accepted by the Fujimori regime--and more generally by the ruling classes in Peru and their imperialist masters--is an agreement to end the war on a basis that could not benefit but would harm the revolutionary process in Peru. Therefore, a proposal for peace accords to end the war could only lead to opportunism and must be combatted." (p. 15)
On the same page that it refers to itself as the "emerging political centre of the international communist movement," the RIM says, "Those who have been confused by the right opportunist line or stumbled off the revolutionary path should repudiate this line, oppose and counter the damage being caused by this line and its adherents, and retake the revolutionary road." (p. 17) Therein lies the essence of the problem of the A World to Win stand. We take the stand that of course there is a two-line struggle at all times in the party, but in the instances that the RCP-USA is pointing to in this document, what we see is not right opportunism but counterrevolution. Furthermore, those conciliating with these counterrevolutionary forces while maintaining the appearance of a different line also lose their credibility as Maoists. Unlike the RIM, we do not suggest to the PCP-CC to conciliate with these counter- revolutionaries and police to the extent of keeping them in the party. We find it unlikely that the PCP could have kept such people in the party and maintained its progress with the armed struggle and it also seems likely to MIM that whatever discussions were about the "peace accords" were done with years ago, at least in relation to this type of most fundamental question in which such a party as the PCP would have achieved unity very quickly.
The statement "It was important that the masses, and especially some of the middle strata, realize that Mao had gone to great efforts to reach a reasonable accord with Chiang" (p. 25) is correct. Those who deny this aspect of the peace sentiments of the masses are metaphysicians. However, it is a different question when it comes to the party and what is permissible for a party member to believe, and this is the crux of the problem with the RIM line on the People's War in Peru.
MIM never saw one of the documents released on pages 64 and 65 before. In the "Outline for a Basic Document," we see a clear call for counterrevolution. "Ending the people's war represents neither surrender nor abandoning the revolution, but rather continuing the struggle under new conditions." In addition, the document continues, "II. Basic Approach 1.Sign a peace agreement whose application would lead to the ending of the war the country is experiencing. 2. End the people's war begun 17 May 1980, in all its four forms of guerrilla actions. Disband the People's Guerrilla Army, destroying its arms and combat material; likewise, dissolve the People's Committees and the revolutionary base areas of the People's New Democratic Republic."
Going back as far as statements released in 1994, MIM said it would never be permissible to advocate laying down arms. "Outline for a Basic Document" does exactly that, but the RIM calls it "written in the latter part of 1993 by leaders of the Right Opportunist Line." (p. 64)
Whatever right opportunism there might be in the PCP pales in comparison with this counterrevolutionary document. MIM knows nothing of Gonzalo Thought compared with the PCP, but the universal aspects of Maoism in the oppressed countries include never laying down arms except for partial and limited symbolic gestures, not as across-the-board action or strategy. It does not matter the conditions. There is nothing about Maoism to integrate with the conditions on that question. The document cannot be called Maoist, no matter what Gonzalo Thought might be.
Hence, even though MIM does not know the conditions or pretend to have a Guiding Thought for Peru, MIM knows that that document went too far. Its signers can not members of the PCP. The whole affair of pretending otherwise is a montage of the police and its press lackeys.
RIM talks about "stumbling," but this goes further than that. This kind of "stumbling" removes one from the party. Perhaps these people can take up work in the new democratic forces. Others may prove themselves in the people's army, but they cannot be immediately trusted. A well- publicized example of this is in the Philippines with the case of General Jarque whose story is told in Maoist Sojourner, May 1996. If someone clamors to join the proletarian-led forces that is good, and we must let them, but in the case of someone like Jarque with a history of bloodshed on his hands, caution and step-by-step struggle is necessary. Furthermore, those saying they want a "peace accord" and would conciliate with the signers of "Outline for a Basic Document" to the extent of keeping those signers in the party--such conciliators should also be thrown out of the party. The core of the party must be with those who recognize the "Outline for a Basic Document" as counterrevolutionary. Abroad, this means the line of Luis Arce Borja has been vindicated by the publication of A World to Win.
On the INTERNET, those defending the RIM line have reminded MIM of its own internal purge of the anarchist wind. They speak of "not casting out" people, blather about going on the offensive through outreach with everyone vaguely included in the Maoist forces and emphasize how their approach is "practice." Those unwilling to purge the party go against what Gonzalo taught on how purges strengthen the party. This is to leave aside the whole issue of police infiltrators, which is also connected up with a reluctance to purge and a happy- go-lucky approach to unity.
Other defenders of the RIM are a case in point of how difficult it is to break with the RCP-USA's revisionism without the MIM line on the imperialist countries. Already some ex-RCP USA circles are crawling back to the RCP-USA line as the struggle intensifies.
In light of these documents in A World to Win, and also other press reports about RIM- sanctioned people attacking the PCP-CC as "totalitarian," MIM sees that this struggle has gone beyond the confines of what is acceptable within the universal principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. We do not seek to present a Guiding Thought for Peru from here in the imperialist countries. We will not march through Peru's conditions the way A World to Win did as if we should form the Guiding Thought from here--though it is certain that the blow to the leadership and the lack of inter-imperialist war will make the People's War more protracted than would otherwise be the case.
We recognize instead of trying to form the Guiding Thought, we abroad should follow Luis Arce Borja in his approach. He has warned against RIM centrism and conciliation with counterrevolution and police plots. Meanwhile, he has rebuffed the obviously non-Maoist attacks on the PCP including the recent police plot activities of the New Flag aimed at MIM and Luis Arce Borja himself, and Luis Arce Borja has earned MIM's trust in these matters including detailed questions that MIM cannot know much about. Meanwhile, the RIM belies its claim to be fighting the "right opportunist line" by distributing leaflets against Luis Arce Borja internationally. If one is conducting a struggle against the "right opportunist line" for the peace accords, one does not proceed against those like Luis Arce Borja who have steadfastly opposed them. Such is the tell-tale sign of the center-right: wave the red flag to attract adherents, but attack the left and base oneself in the support from the right. In such a way it is possible to confuse the left momentarily, strike down its forces and achieve counter-revolution, whether subjectively intended or not. This is the outcome we must struggle now to avoid.
27. 17 Jun 1996
"There is nothing about Maoism to integrate with the conditions on that question. The document cannot be called Maoist, no matter what Gonzalo Thought might be."
With: "There is nothing about Maoism to integrate with the conditions on that question. The document cannot be called Maoist, no matter what conditions in Peru might be."
(To prevent implied potential conflict between Mao and Gonzalo)
32. 3. In the following sentence, replace "Gonzalo" with "Lenin" to be consistent that we are not experts on Gonzalo thought and are acting in the realm of universals.
"Those unwilling to purge the party go against what Gonzalo taught on how purges strengthen the party. This is to leave aside the whole issue of police infiltrators, which is also connected up with a reluctance to purge and a happy- go-lucky approach to unity."
"MIM knows nothing of Gonzalo Thought compared with the PCP, but the universal aspects of Maoism in the oppressed countries include never laying down arms except for partial and limited symbolic gestures, not as across-the-board action or strategy. It does not matter the conditions."
With: "Without MIM ruling on questions unique to Peru or determining Peru's Guiding Thought, MIM can clearly say that the universal aspects of Maoism in the oppressed countries include never laying down arms except for partial and limited symbolic gestures, not as across-the-board action or strategy. It does not matter the conditions."
The following resolution is to ensure continuity in the IM, and the possibility of handing it over to someone else.
On Recognizing Fraternal Parties
The 1995 Congress Resolution titled "Reject the Outdated Idea of an Emerging International Center" recommended study of the Communist Party of the Philippines approach to international relations amongst proletarian organizations. This document is to lay out MIM's own distinctive approach to such questions as a supplement to the 1995 Congress resolutions.
There are five terms that MIM finds most useful to describe its approach to
other proletarian organizations:
1. "Internationalist social-democratic"--our relationships to these organizations is yet developing, and may entail some level of disciplined unity particularly with respect to aiding Maoist-led People's Wars. We hope to expand our work in "internationalist solidarity."
2. "Communist"--denoting the opposition to all oppressions and including the abolition of classes, nations and patriarchy. Some anarchists are communists.
3. "Vanguard"--the most advanced organization in a society, which history has proved in the case of the united states could be an immigrant or sojourner organization. Not all vanguard organizations are necessarily communist, such is MIM's unique stance with regard to the struggle against liquidationism that is particularly important for imperialist country conditions.
4. "Fraternal"--referring to parties with the same cardinal principles as MIM and recognized by MIM as the potential vanguard of a society.
a) In the case of imperialist countries, requiring agreement with all four of MIM's cardinal principles.
b) In the case of oppressed nations not enclosed by the imperialist societies, requiring agreement with MIM's cardinal principles one, two and four, while carrying out the practice of armed struggle.
5. "Fraternal vanguard"--referring to parties that agree with our cardinal principles and occupy the vanguard role in their society.
The Communist Party of Peru, the Communist Party of the Philippines and
the TKP/ML are examples of fraternal vanguards. In all three cases, such
recognition is unilateral and does not depend on any recognition of MIM
by those parties. There are probably more such organizations deserving
MIM recognition, but MIM's International Ministry is limited and only
does so much investigation. We apologize to those we have excluded
Dynamics of multilateral and bilateral relations
1. Some organizations cease to uphold the cardinals and some take them on anew. This will cause a shift in MIM's evaluations.
2. Because of MIM's concern with opposing liquidationism and
opportunism on the cardinals, size does not enter into MIM's
considerations; hence, it is possible for MIM to regard several
organizations in a society as fraternal. That is not to say that it might not be
best for those organizations to unite and re-organize.
3. When an organization holds "fraternal vanguard" status in MIM's eyes, it
can only lose it three ways:
a. By asking MIM to withdraw recognition, presumably because MIM's recognition is harmful.
b. By changing the organization's cardinal principles.
c. By the arising of new fraternal organizations in that society.
4. MIM does not get involved in judging which fraternal organization integrates the principles of Maoism in a society best. How to handle the national question, peasant question etc. in a society, we leave that up to our fraternal comrades, and rely on them to lead MIM entirely on such questions. An example of this is that we believe there are at least two Maoist organizations in India carrying out armed struggle. MIM does not generally get involved in naming one superior to the other, when the issue is how to integrate Maoism with concrete conditions. MIM does get involved in questions where the answers are universally applicable in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, meaning true regardless of local conditions.
MIM's goals in foreign relations with communists
It is incorrectly stated by MIM's enemies that MIM's goals are legitimacy. If that were true, MIM would drop some of its principles. Dropping MIM's third cardinal principle would gain MIM some instant legitimacy and endorsements. Whatever legitimacy MIM gains at this stage of creating public opinion and independent institutions of the oppressed, it arrives from struggle over ideology.
1. Our number one need in the English-speaking imperialist countries and their internal semi-colonies is ideological assistance. Such assistance may be as simple as imparting an attitude toward study. There are few proletarian reference-points within the imperialist societies, and the apolitical and atheoretical nature of the mass cultures is a constant threat. Orientation on the needs and interests of the international proletariat and motivation in the sense of connecting with that class--both these needs are fulfilled by the ideological assistance given MIM by its fraternal comrades. Hence the work that we do with our fraternal comrades which has this ideological component is what MIM tends to emphasize first and foremost. It could be said that it is sectarian for MIM to adopt this position above giving direct aid to the fraternal organizations, but we believe the danger of liquidationism in the imperialist countries mandates this order of priorities. Organizations that cease to exist in the imperialist countries do not render direct aid. At the same time, we would like to leave some operating space for those internationalist social-democrats who don't want to bother with further ideological questions, and who instead wish to focus on direct aid to our fraternal organizations in the oppressed countries. There is probably some relationship between the success of ideological work and the extent of the existence of internationalist social-democracy. In any case, we should give credit where credit is due.
2. Comrades. Where there are people more or less permanently living in the imperialist countries, they can contribute substantially by directly involving themselves in MIM.
MIM enters its highest discipline with those organizations that uphold all four of MIM's cardinals. Those operating at the highest level of discipline do not say or do anything in disagreement. At another level of discipline, parties do not criticize each other by name. From MIM's standpoint, that is a very useful approach in many situations, but it has less use in the imperialist countries where the proletarian pole itself is covered in dense fog and threatened with collapse. Nonetheless, we recognize that there is a trade-off between straight-forward study of criticism and Liberalism. The policy of shrouded criticism is unpopular with imperialist country youth, which does not make those youth correct. In fact, the inability to understand criticism is a catch-22 for the proletarian movement. Hence, where the proletarian pole is threatened with liquidation, we must lean to the side of youth. Other organizations with a similar attitude as MIM on this question include "Open Polemic," which dedicates itself soley to criticism by name open to all.
Next in level of discipline are those organizations that are fraternal vanguards from the oppressed nations who do not agree with our third cardinal. As examples, with regard to criticisms, MIM attempts to confine its criticisms of the fraternal vanguards to its theoretical journals. Even that is not always possible if MIM is dragged into an issue in public. The PCP connection to the RCP-USA is an example of a relationship inherently difficult for MIM to handle. On the one hand, we need to back the PCP; on the other hand, we are under the utmost obligation to attack revisionism.
In the case of vanguard organizations that are not fraternal to MIM, MIM cannot guarantee what tactics it would use to see to the creation of a fraternal party. MIM's first approach is always to struggle directly with vanguard organizations. Where such approaches are blocked or unfruitful, circumstances dictate MIM's next move.
MIM seeks to avoid the PLP (Progressive Labor Party) example of its break with Mao. From PLP's perspective, it had the obligation to be implacable against revisionism in China and domestically in North America. The result is that PLP broke with all the proletarian organizations except for its own. MIM's cardinal principles cannot change, so we cannot rule out that MIM could be forced into organizational isolation too. Perhaps some criticize us as already being in PLP's position. However, it is clear that one difference is that MIM unilaterally recognizes other parties as vanguards of their societies. This is something the PLP does not do. Mao's line on the COMINTERN is helpful along these lines. It prevents splits based on the difficulties that arise in applying Maoism in particular conditions. At this time, we must steer a course between high fraternal discipline and no discipline at all. Discipline is only possible because of the actual ideological unity that does exist on cardinal questions. Where there is a question of revisionism involved, we must err to the side of no discipline every time.
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