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Marxist-Leninist Theory and Practice, part 2

by Majdur, Marxist-Leninist Newswire Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2001 at 2:34 AM

In short, we do not have this guiding "Thought" which is so critical to producing revolution in this country. But the main question remains, if Bob Avakian is incapable of developing a guiding Thought which would put Marxism-Leninism-Maoism into practice in this country, should we still be supporting him internationally?

errorProletarians of all countries, unite!




Marxist-Leninist Theory and Practice, part 2
14 Jan. 2001

"Practice is higher than theoretical knowledge, for it has not only the dignity of universality, but also of immediate actuality."
--V.I. Lenin

Ideologies which serve to create an organization require a conscious concept of unity. Cadre can recite the principle of an organization, the principles of an ideology, by rote, but one will not know whether he/she really thinks with them. Only by seeing how these abstract ideas are utilized in concrete action, i.e., in practice, can one see that manner of an individuals thinking. All modern rational organizations require conscious effort to maintain themselves, to achieve it goals, and demands a high degree of concentration and conscious effort from its members. In communist parties, consciousness is raised by inducing members to speak, write, and publish their understanding of the principles of Marxism and apply them to concrete circumstances which are encountered in our daily work. It is also induced, and perfected, through the struggle meeting where cadre argue their positions and two line struggle is developed along the principles of dialectical method until the political line is resovled--i.e., the minority submits to the majority. It is considered untiy-struggle-unity since the Party itself is united by an overall ideology, it is united. The Party initiates discussion--in the form of stuggle meetings--and resolves the contradictions produced through dialectial method and therefore departs as it arrived--in unity. A dialectic is a process of resolving two, or more, opposing points of view. It is true that opposition in political line is not persistent, i.e, antinomy, but is resolved through struggle. Antinimous contradiction is not persistent, but is resolved through dialectic. The struggle within the Party is therefore a "non-antagonistic contradiction". The primary contradiction is between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and is, therefore, called an "antagonistic contradiction"--a contradiction which is to be resolved at its highest level.

All organizations require a unified ideology in order to function. Pure ideology is a set of ideas designed to give the cadre a unifed and conscious world view, while practical ideololgy is a set of ideas designed to give cadre principles for action. The main contribution by Marx is dialectical materialism and historical materialism--i.e., that history is the development of class struggle. This is pure ideology and persists in the realm of theory. The main contribution by V.I. Lenin is the idea of the vanguard party. This is the pure ideology of Marx put in to practice. Marx gave us the over all theory, Lenin gave us an overall theory for action, i.e., for practice. Pure and practical ideology, though different, are inseparably bound together. Without pure ideology, the ideas of practical ideology have no legitimation. Without practical ideology the Party cannot transform its pure ideology into consistent action. One needs the other in order to satisfy the equation of dialectial materialism.

Though all revolutionary movements must have an ideology, not all of them have developed practical ideologies through which an effective organization can be developed, e.g., focoismo. Lenin created a practical ideology for revolutionary movements and Mao Tse-tung enriched this ideology with his long experience in revolutionary war. The principal aspect of Gonzalo Thought is having defined Maoism as the new, third, and superior stage of Marxism. In Lenin's time, Marxism was the pure ideology and Leninist Thought was the practical ideology. For Mao Tse-tung, Marxism-Leninism was the pure ideology and Mao Tse-tung Thought the practical ideology.


"Revolutions give rise to a thought that guides them, the result of the application of the universal truth of the ideology of the international proletariat to the concrete conditions of each revolution; a guiding thought indispensable to reach victory and to conquer power and, moreover, to continue the revolution and to maintain the course always towards the only, great goalCommunism; a guiding thought that, arriving at a qualitative leap of decisive importance for the revolutionary process which it leads, becomes identified with the name of the one who shaped it theoretically and practically. In our situation, this phenomenon specified itself first as guiding thought, then as Chairman Gonzalos guiding thought, and later, as Gonzalo Thought; because it is the Chairman who, creatively applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the concrete conditions of Peruvian reality, has generated it, thus endowing the Party and the revolution with an indispensable weapon that is the guarantee of victory."

--First Party Congress, (Fundamental Documents) PCP(SL)


Thus,
Theory + Practice ---------> Thought
Marxism + Practice of Lenin------> Leninist Thought
Marxism-Leninism + Practice of Mao Tse-tung -----> Mao Tse-tung Thought
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism + Practice of Chairman Gonzolo ----> Gonzolo Thought


This brings us to the issue of the prospects for revolution in the United States. We have understood Marxism and the elevation of Lenin's Thought (Marxism in practice) to Leninism. We have also gained the understanding that Mao Tse-tung Thought is elevated to Maoism on the grounds that he has provided universal strategy and tactics for armed struggle--i.e., People's War. We have also undertaken the serious study of Gonzolo Thought which is the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the particular situation in Peru, hence Gonzolo Thought. The principle aspect of Gonzolo Thought being the understanding of the universal truth of People's War and the practical development of People's War in Peru. We now must ask, Do we we have a guiding "Thought" for the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the United States? Bob Avakian claims to have such a Thought, but close examination of Avakian Thought reveals that Bob Avakian's Thought remains as yet still a Theory, i.e., pure ideology--Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. That the application of Avakian Thought, if any, i.e., the pure ideology in practice, is revealed as revolutionary ecclecticism and that this ecclecticism stems from his low theorectical understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

Time an time again Bob Avakian reveals the fact that he is unable to articulate the most elementary principles of Marxism, such as distinguishing between the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie. In simple terms, the proletariat is a worker, an employee, and lives by a paycheck while the Bourgoisie is the owner of the means of production and is, therefore, the employer. Thus the employer and the employee stand in opposition to one another. It therefore stands to reason that if one is not an employer then one must be the employee. There are many kinds of workers, employees, from the agricultural worker to the industrial factory worker, the secretary, the chef, the bank teller, the mechanic, the airline pilot, etc. There is also a wide range of pay for each of these categories of workers. Some are, frankly, paid better than others. But what makes one a proletariat does not hinge on what an individual makes in terms of salary, but how one makes what they make. If someone makes their living from the work of others, i.e., from their employees, then one is an exploiter and is therfore in the bourgeoisie. If, however, one is exploited then one is in the proletariat. The petty-bourgeoisie is either self-employed or is a very small time exploiter of others, i.e., has few employees. We can see, then, that it is actually possible to make more in terms of real dollars, on occassion, as an employee than one can as an employer. This is often seen when petty-bourgeois employers, e.g. a self-employed contractor, goes out of business and goes to work doing construction for a large company, because he can sometimes make more as an employee. Therefore, the principle contradiction is not how much one makes but how one makes it. Bob Avakian has difficulty with this concept an continually vaccilates, is ecclectic, on the issue of "who is the proletariat?" On some occasions Bob Avakian claims that the proletariat are "oppessed minorities" on other occassions he claims the proletarits is "black people and others", again "black people and poor whites too." In his latest essay he claims the proletariat is


"poor and exploited, "real proletarians" as we sometimes call them"

While most of the proletariat is poor and ethnic minorities are over represented, in the United States, among the poor. It is not necessarily true that if one is poor that they are not expoiters--i.e., drug dealers, burglers, robbers, etc., are exploiters who are frequently poor--nor is it true that if you make good money as an employee that you are in the bourgeoisie. We need to draw this line very firmly.

The vast majority of doctors are also employees In his article "The Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie... Soaring to Great Heights... and Grubbing in the Dirt" Bob Avakian takes a back-handed swipe at Norman Bethune.


"Well, we'd like there to be a large proletariat, so let's `find' lots of proletarians," that would be a real problem--that would be a wrong method. If we started "inventing" proletarians--you know, that doctor works hard, maybe we can call him a proletarian"

Norman Bethune was a Canadian Doctor who was sent by the Communist Party of Canada to China during its war of liberation against Japan. He had also gone to Spain when the Italian facists invaded in 1936, Norman Bethune died a martyr in China. Mao Tse-tung said upon Norman Bethune's death.


"I am deeply grieved over his death. Now we are all commemorating him, which shows how profoundly his spirit inspires everyone. We must learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With his spirit everyone can be very useful to the people. A man's ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already noble-minded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people."

Can a doctor be a proletariat? A communist? He can, and Norman Bethune was an example of that. Bob Avakian, of course, knows this. It can be no accident that he has obliquely attacked Norman Bethune, "a doctor works hard" indeed! Indeed, no accident, Bob Avakian has been studying the works of Mao Tse-tung for nearly thirty years and I have no doubt that he knows those works backwards and forwards.

On a different theme, the RCP-USA has attempted to fracture the proletariat along race, sex and religious lines. It has been the theory of some revolutionaries that violence was the principle thing that needed to be created in the United States. All that was needed, according to them, was the initiation of violent conflict and others would simply "jump in" and Blanquist organizations could use this civil strife as cover for more determined actions against the State. The RCP-USA has persued this line, but they have also simultaneously pursued several other lines, which is what makes them ecclectic. One aspect of the RCP-USA's ecclectic revolutionary line is to forment discontent in the African American community and then to attempt to redirect the anger there against "the system." That's why they continually put out the line that African American's are the "real proletariat" and then try to redirect their anger against the system by subsequently attack African American martrys, e.g. by calling Dr. Martin Luther King a member of the "hated black bourgeoisie." Statements like these coming from the RCP-USA are not only inflammatory they are contrary to fact statements. Dr. Martin Luther King is well liked and deeply respected, not only in the African American community, but within the proletariat at large. The only appropriate criticism to be made is that the particular tactics that he employed in the 1960's will not be as effective today. The true emancipation of the proletariat can only be achived through revolution.

Similarly, the RCP-USA occassionally takes up the issue of "Black Nationalism". They attempt to forment that anger and redirect it at "the system." Unfortunately, this tactic is doomed to fail, because the whole idea of "Black Nationalism" is out of step with the proletarian movement at large. It amounts to saying "over turn Brown v. Bd. of Education uphold Plessy v. Furgeson". This notion has been thourghly repudiated by the proletariat. Shall we stoop to taking genetic tests to see who is black enough? Bob Avaking makes completely asinine statements that "Blacks will be able to live anywhere they want including in all-white communities, but whites will not be allowed to live in black communities", or something to this effect. This is nothing less than the most divisive racism, and has no real currency among the proletariat.

On the issue of nationalism, Native American's still have some poitical autonomy and are, at least, allowed to establish parallel agencies, tribal police, ect. Therefore, we need to respect their right to autonomy, but we must also note that there is a contradiction between those native americans who want to restore the communal life, the traditional life, that they once had and those who seek to exploit native lands to thier own advantage--by opening casinos and leasing land for oil, mineral and timber exploitation. Those who wish to restore the vanish status of the tribal community are caught between a rock and a hard place. What ever tradition still remains is being further eroded with each passing year. The capitalist system demands the continious generation of capital. Those who seek to resore the status of the tribe are, therefore, in a perpetual want of funds, because the primitive life style is incapable of generating the income required by this system. Those who generate capital do so only at the expence of the land and the people. We must, therefore, attempt to unite with the native traditionalists while, at the same time, continuing to stress the fact that the destruction of the tribe has its roots in the exploiting system, capitalism, and elucidating the general conflict between the capitalists and the traditionalists within in the tribe, i.e., the class-stuggle within. We must also respect their laws and their authority over their land. We should, then, not be akin to the anarchists who rebel against tribal authority on the grounds that the tribal council and the tribal police are "authoritarian". We respect their water rights, hunting an fishing rights, ect. The bankruptcy of anarchism is revealed, for if they say they too respect tribal authority then they admit that they respect some authority saying, all the while, that they recognize none.

We baldly assert that humanity is not prepared to live without councils, committees, and, indeed, the state--which establishes policy and makes law. With those powers we also intend to create the armed force to back them up. How should we resolve the conflict between the environmentalist who wants to save trees and the anarchist who wants to cut them down if the issues are not resolved in committee which itself was not empowered to enforce its decisions?

The growth of the party is accomplished by first training the cadre to understand and apply dialectical and historical materialism and to inculcate in them a layer of discipline and a profound sense of duty to humanity. From there the party grows outward into the community and begins to interact with it. The cadre are guided by the principle "be concerned with the well-being of the masses". Little by little the party begins to influence the surrounding culture and politics of the community and, ultimately, begins to establish parallel government agencies--at first intermitantly and later more enduring. As the party does so, the armed force for the defence of the people. First guerrila zones, then liberated zones, unstabled base areas, then stable bases areas must also be produced, since red power shall not exist for long without provoking the most violent outburst of reaction from the bourgeoisie. The party must be prepared to defend the masses from the onslaught of the reactionary police and armed forces.

But, the RCP-USA has demonstrated its inablity to understand and apply the principle of Marxism-Leninist-Maoism. We have seen numerous forms of revolutionary ecclecticism. They publish one theory which calls for a "United Front Under the Leadership of the Proletariat", which is a misunderstanding of Mao Tse-tungs united front, and then follow it up with another publication on the "General Crisis" which is again replaced with another line calling for "Protacted Peoples War". On any and all occassions they maintain that they are engaged in a boycott of elections and went on and on about the evils of the Clinton administration only to send Central Committee members out on a campaign to stop Clinton's impeachment! Under the slogan "Stop the Inquisition" (http://members.tripod.com/~stopinquisition/press-012599.html) Against the Inquisition: Voices of Resistance Mary Lou Greenberg Revolutionary Worker #995, February 21, 1999 (http://www.rwor.org/a/v20/990-99/995/forum.htm) This is not withstanding the fact that they go all out to defend the lives of people who are neither communists or revolutionaries and stab the greatest living marxist, Chairman Gonzolo, in the back.

Such, in a word, is not revolutionary activity it is revisionism. The RCP-USA is primarily ecclectic which has manifested itself as an endless vaccilation between opportunism and revisionism. But these activities have take a rather dangeous truns. Since they were unable to apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, that is, to develop a "Thought", they attempted to infiltrate and destroy other organizations, NBAU, VVAW, one should hardly even mention their involvement in the BPP. No only that, but they have resorted to pursuing two lines at once. For instance, after they had shut down the Campaign to Defend the Life of Chairman Gonzolo they continued to publish the picture of him on page two of the Revolutionary Worker and kept their website at csrp.org up to date. In other words, they have attemted to make it appear that they were supporting Chairman Gonzolo when they were not. In the same way they keep puting out this idea of the CoRIM. It looks like the RIM, sounds like the RIM, but its not the RIM. After it was brought to light that they were pursuing these two policies in regard to Chairman Gonzolo, defending him in theory selling him out in practice, they immediately came out with an article on the two line struggle "2LS", but this was only after the Campaign to Defend the Life of Chairman Gonzolo had already been shut down by Bob Avakian for two years. Communist parties in the RIM have certain obligations and loyalties which are simply demanded of them, but the only reason the campaign to defend him is continuing is because of the MPP.

In short, we do not have this guiding "Thought" which is so critical to producing revolution in this country. But the main question remains, if Bob Avakian is incapable of developing a guiding Thought which would put Marxism-Leninism-Maoism into practice in this country, should we still be supporting him internationally, i.e., in the RIM? Should we just say that any Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party, or any party that calls itself such, in the United States, better than no party at all? Shall we wait until Bob Avakian dies of natural causes and then attempt to reorganize the RCP-USA? I reject this notion. History has shown us that when revisionist, in this case ecclectic, parties are allowed lead, unchecked, the proletariat is invariably led to ruin. It is therefore of the utmost importance, that if we do not have a leader that we attempt, at least, to find one. Or that we, at least, begin to make a more determined effort to build a new party with the support of the RIM and our international comrades in the MPP.

Majdur, Marxist-Leninist Newswire



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