Self-description: This organization has claimed to defend Stalin consistently. It also mentions upholding Mao, but it regards Mao as a "Marxist-Leninist" and not someone who took Marxism-Leninism to a new stage.
Comments: The PTB is a large and internationally influential party. If the numerical center of gravity amongst those calling themselves "communist" is not in Indian conferences of the sub-continent, then the European conferences called by leader Ludo Martens of the PTB are the numerical center of gravity in the year 2000 by attracting up to 136 organizations from all the continents.
An expert on Francophone Africa, Ludo Martens may be the most prolific writer in the world calling him or herself communist. However, he has regressed politically since his youth when he upheld Maoism. In particular, he defends Mao's thesis on the bourgeoisie in the party, but he does not see it as advancing Marxism-Leninism to a new stage, which is another way of saying it's not a cardinal question. Meanwhile, he tends to encourage Brezhnevites and "Stalinists" for raising geopolitical questions against Mao as if they were reasons for not accepting the theory of the new bourgeoisie in the party as a cardinal principle.
The PTB's stand is all the worse, because PTB says that China was a socialist country under Mao (and even now!); hence, PTB should reason as Marxists that China's "foreign policy" could have no motivation in the mode of production for having anything fundamentally wrong. Instead, PTB's real global significance is talking about just those foreign policy issues as if they were cardinal questions. In this way, Ludo Martens demotes Lenin's theory of "imperialism" as stemming from the mode of production while emphasizing mere errors especially by Mao as the real source of foreign policy.
Meanwhile, PTB also agrees that capitalist restoration did occur in the Soviet bloc. Yet while it agrees on this point and upholds Mao's theory of the bourgeoisie in the party, the PTB somehow finds it to be of less importance than Mao's alleged foreign policy errors.
To assist in this strange maneuver, Ludo Martens also says that while China had no economic basis for a wrong foreign policy toward the USSR or anyone else, the USSR was not "social-fascist." So it was that Ludo Martens wanted to enter the typically Trotskyist netherworld of having a revisionist state on top of an economy neither really capitalist nor socialist.
Finally we must beg our readers' pardon if they are reading this and PTB has changed its position. Having fallen for "back to Leninism" and Gorbachev at one time, and still calling China, Cuba and northern Korea "socialist," it would not surprise us to see another swing in direction.
The PTB faces large-scale competition from an effort by the MLPD (Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany) and the Communist Party of the Philippines, the RIM (which stole our name) and, hopefully, increasingly the MIM and the leaders of People's War in the Third World. For these reasons, the next major regroupment of international so-called communist parties is guaranteed to pay more lip-service to Mao and Stalin. See, MIM's criticism of the PTB-led "International Communist Seminar".
Ludo Martens has written quite a bit, and here's a book translated into English that is correct to a very high degree. It's most useful for refuting the overly hyped work of poet and British government agent Robert Conquest: Another View of Stalin
To go visit the PTB for yourself, go here.
National Committee for Marxist-Leninist Unity
Self-description: This is an effort of separate organizations in England to join together to uphold Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Some members also go further and uphold Hoxha.
Comments: The NCMLU assisted us with posting Bill Bland's book The Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union on our web site. The NCMLU asked us to link to them, so we do here.
Ray O. Light
Boxholder DLD-354 58 Batterymarch St. Boston, MA 02110
Self-description: This persyn or organization defends Stalin and claims in 1999 that "A cessation of anti-revisionist polemics, a general downplaying of international affairs, and a new (bourgeois) national preoccupation with China, marked the Chinese CP with the advent of the GPCR[Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China--ed.]. No multi-lateral proletarian internationalist initiatives were ever undertaken by the Chinese CP again." (Ray O. Light, January 1999, "For a General Line of the International Communist Movement") At times, Ray O. Light claims that the imperialist country working classes have been bought off in their entirety, and most of the time, Ray O. Light appears to uphold MIM's third cardinal principle, in many cases stating what MIM said 10 or 20 years before MIM said it.
Comments: Although the persyn boasts a Boston, United $tates address and although MIM has been the most active force calling itself "communist" in Boston, MIM never encountered any Ray O. Light in Boston in 20 years, only a little literature in a bookstore that left a somewhat favorable but eclectic impression compared with most revisionism available. Based on historical notes, MIM is unable to guarantee that Ray O. Light has had a consistent line as we now describe. We class him here based on a selection of his publications.
It brings to mind again the question of having international seminars prop up individuals instead of parties, especially those individuals who have written a great deal. There are accomplished individuals like W.E.B. Du Bois and Carol Andreas who are outside the party framework. On the other hand, the attention given to individuals in this regard may encourage liquidationism--an especially virulent Menshevik anti-party line. What must be weighed in giving individuals or people with no party organization or newspaper such attention is the encouragement it gives to Menshevism (against MIM's fourth cardinal principle of democratic-centralism) and the potential for security breaches, not to mention outright crackpots or pigs who write at length solely to mislead the people about the history of the communist movement.
We are happy that Ray O. Light does not claim to be Maoist. It's too bad that this persyn is unable to face the facts squarely--that it was Khruschev and his clique who restored capitalism, not a vague international pressure. These people were in the party--and this is what is cardinal about the difference between Ray O. Light and MIM. Rare indeed is someone who can handle the third cardinal principle in concrete context and yet show such a jumbled understanding of the years 1956-1966 and then absolutely no understanding of the years 1966-1976 in the international communist movement. This would be the case of a persyn who can see what is under his nose, but has a harder time understanding something from afar.
Like Ludo Martens, Ray O. Light deals with those issues that make it tempting to call them the left-wing of Brezhnevism. No doubt their most off-base concoctions have appeal to many senior bureaucrats of the ex-USSR in the Brezhnev era. Ray O. Light in particular reads like someone who never had access to any Cultural Revolution documents, just like the ordinary people of the USSR in Brezhnev's day.
Of special irony is that Ray O. Light spends time defending the spontaneity of the workers and the objective existence of the strivings of the proletariat for socialism against those who say the vanguard party is everything. He even notes repeatedly how the Albanian communist party dissolved itself outright during World War II with much success. Yet, when it came to the Cultural Revolution, Ray O. Light switched and said that party discipline had to be upheld as sacred, so the masses should not be allowed to attack the capitalist-roaders in the party. Hence, Ray O. Light is the perfect defender of Khruschev, because he appears to oppose his line and yet the one instance in which he upholds the sanctity of the party is the instance when the party member in question is a capitalist-roader with power.
In contrast, MIM realizes there was no cook-book recipe possible for the Cultural Revolution, as mobilizing the masses to do something for the first time had no precedent. For Ray O. Light, letting the masses attack Khruschev was "destroying" the party like the bourgeois press said of the Cultural Revolution. From MIM's perspective, failing to mobilize the proletariat and its allies against the real enemy--the bourgeoisie in the party--that was the real way to "destroy" the party just as Khruschev did. Even a functioning party headed by the likes of Khruschev may have all the trappings of Marxism-Leninism, but it has been destroyed more than anything the masses in the Cultural Revolution could ever do through their spontaneous upsurge.
It would also be tempting to call Ray O. Light a Hoxhaite, but he demonstrates just a little too much independence from Hoxhaism for that. After 1976, Ray O. Light said the main enemy was U.S. imperialism while the Hoxhaites were still saying there were equal enemies of the people--Soviet social-imperialism and U.S. imperialism. Hence, we surmise that Ray O. Light, the individual had no discipline with the Hoxhaites.
See, Review of Ray O. Light literature
Self-description: This is the newspaper for communists of Indian origin in England, says Lalkar. China is still a socialist country. Khruschev revisionism destroyed the Soviet Union.
Comments: Like many other "Stalinists," Lalkar focuses on geopolitics instead of the mode of production when push comes to shove. Lalkar says, "Whatever our view of the Chinese ‘reforms’, we fully support, as is the duty of progressive humanity at large, a strong China, for, since the collapse of the USSR and the eastern Peoples’ Democracies, China alone stands in the way of total imperialist domination of our planet." ( http://www.lalkar.demon.co.uk/issues/contents/sep1999/china.html ) While MIM does not want to encourage any Indian hostilities with China, we do not need to overlook the mode of production to oppose war and imperialist geopolitical maneuvering.
It is tempting to call the PTB and Lalkar "Dengist," since they accept the Dengist view that the state is or society is still socialist and crushed the 1989 demonstrators spawned by the economic reforms. The Deng Xiaoping clique only said itself that it was hanging on to the ultimate power in society while letting much of it go capitalist, as in the "New Economic Policy."
On the other hand, Deng Xiaoping explicitly met with the Russians and said he regretted his old criticisms of Khruschev while Mao was in power. Lalkar pretends to still be critical of Khruschev, while making it impossible to attack Khruschev revisionism.
While Ray O. Light says China has had capitalism restored, Lalkar and PTB say not. Ray O. Light says the iron discipline of the party required means that the Chinese Cultural Revolution was inappropriate. Thus, Ray O. Light created a shield for revisionism against the masses, as long as it is in the party. At best, Ray O. Light sees class struggle all happening within the party under socialism, if he actually sees class struggle at all.
Lalkar is tailing intra-bourgeois splits and the PTB has an eclectic position almost designed to have something for everyone. PTB acknowledges that there is a bourgeoisie in the party, but it rates the importance of that behind various geopolitical issues. Hence, one way or another, these "Stalinists" all make a good cover for revisionism. Only Maoists give the proper weight to the fight against revisionism.
As Maoist Jose Maria Sison correctly said, "No socialist country was ever defeated by any US war of aggression. When the Soviet Union came under revisionist rule, the US ultimately succeeded in outmaneuvering the Soviet Union in the Cold War by pushing neocolonialism and the arms race and by penetrating all the revisionist-ruled countries. The biggest factor ever that caused the restoration of capitalism in socialist countries of the working class was the rise and advance of modern revisionism, centered in the Soviet Union and spread on a global scale. From the time of Khrushchov to that of Gorbachov, the modern revisionists declared that the working class had completed its historic mission of building socialism in order to liquidate the proletarian class dictatorship and class struggle and push the restoration of capitalism.
"Where the working class had taken power and built socialism but where the bourgeoisie subsequently recovered political power and privatized public assets, the modern revisionists played the role of the classical revisionists, the social democrats, as betrayers of socialism. As soon as modern revisionists took power, they became monopoly bureaucrat capitalists and social-fascists using demagogy and terror against genuine Marxist-Leninists, the working class and the entire people." (Contribution to the International Communist Seminar "Imperialism, Fascisation and Fascism," Brussels, 2-4 May 2000, Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines http://www.wpb.be/icm.htm) Brussels, 2 - 4 May 2000
The biggest factor for capitalist restoration is the rise of revisionism in the party, but the "Stalinists" still don't get it. For this cardinal reason alone, we must all be Maoists. The rest is small details by comparison.