TOWARDS A MAOIST PARTY:
A CALL FOR U.S. COMMUNISTS TO UNITE IN A LIAISON COMMITTEE
THE LIAISON COMMITTEE IS BORN
On February 17th, a faction in the Organizing Committee for the New Communist Party- the NCP(OC), split after the NCP(OC) leadership voted down a proposal that would have placed focus on uniting other Maoists around the country to build a party rather than the insular focus that was holding the development of the party stagnant. This faction formed the Liaison Committee for the New Communist Party- the NCP(LC), to unite Maoists for the purpose of building a revolutionary party.
Our line was to have an outward orientation to the masses and to uniting the advanced communist forces, and it has been proven correct through struggle. Since forming the NCP(LC) we have expanded to several cities, gained an increase in membership in each branch and have had many advances in our mass work. These successes demonstrate that our political line was correct.
SO WHAT IS A LIAISON COMMITTEE?
There is no revolutionary party in the US, despite there being parties that claim to be the vanguard of the proletariat in the US. However, there are numerous individuals and organizations throughout the US with whom we share enough ideological unity to engage in building a party together. Thus, we have taken up the task of forming a liaison committee to engage these forces and unite the advanced, to win over the intermediate and isolate the backwards.
The liaison committee functions by overseeing the establishment of branches in different cities, states and regions of the US. Each branch engages in doing political work among the masses (organizing workers, students, women, etc) on the basis of building up for proletarian revolution. As we accumulate more branches, we will reach a stage where we can declare an organizing committee in which the party infrastructure will start to be built.
The most important part of the organizing committee process is the ideological struggle to answer key political questions about Maoism, to set a Maoist ideological line for the US.
As we advance in the task of building the organizing committee and consolidating an ideological line, we come nearer to the stage at which we can declare a Communist Party of the USA (Maoist).
WHAT IS THIS IDEOLOGICAL UNITY?
As communists engaged in the task of building a party to lead the masses of the USA in proletarian revolution, we are united ideologically on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the highest stage of revolutionary theory and practice at this point in human history.
In order to consolidate an ideological line, Maoists must engage in several key tasks such as a summation of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and settling the debate between the strategies of the October Road and Protracted People’s War.
While these are questions that will have to be debated during when we reach the stage of the organizing committee, for now we have principles of unity that will be the basis for the Liaison Committee.
PRINCIPLES OF UNITY:
The NCP(LC) is a continuity of the NCP(OC), as well as a rupture with it. Those who are in the LC today were a part of the formation of the OC, including drafting up its principles of unity. Thus, we will be using the same points of unity- on one condition: each and every point is up for debate.
1. We exist to construct the new Communist Party, the political party of the proletariat. This Party will lead the Socialist Revolution in the United States as a part of the world proletarian revolution. Its basic program will be the complete overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in place of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and the triumph of socialism over capitalism. Our ultimate aim is the realization of communism on a global scale, where all class distinctions, all the relations of production on which they rest, all the social relations corresponding to these relations of production, and all the ideas that result from these social relations are abolished.
2. Socialist society covers a considerably long historical period. Throughout this historical period, there will be classes, class contradictions and class struggle. There will be struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road. Only by depending on the theory and practice of continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat can these contradictions be resolved. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China was a great political revolution carried out under the conditions of socialism by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent capitalist restoration. Revolutions like this will have to be carried out many times under socialism.
OUR GUIDING THEORY IS MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM
3. We take Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the theoretical basis guiding our thinking. MLM is the synthesis of the experiences of class struggle in all countries since the emergence of the international proletariat more than 160 years ago. It was forged and expounded mainly by Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, and Mao. Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism are three stages in the development of proletarian theory, which advanced through the heroic struggles waged by hundreds of millions of downtrodden masses and the summing-up of the historical milestones of the world proletarian revolution: the Paris Commune (1871), the October Revolution (1903-1917), the Chinese Revolution (1921-1949), and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976). It developed in the midst of imperialism and proletarian revolution, world wars, the Russian and Chinese experiences of socialist construction, the establishment of the socialist camp following World War II, the Great Debate against modern revisionism, and the restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R. and China. Despite the loss of China as a base area in 1976, contemporary revolutionary movements, especially the protracted people’s wars in several countries, articulated and further enriched the science of MLM.
4. The three component parts of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are: philosophy, political economy, and scientific socialism. As the third component part, scientific socialism encompasses the theory of class struggle, the Marxist understanding of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat, socialist construction, cultural revolution, the strategy and tactics of the class struggle of the proletariat including people’s war, the proletarian revolutionary party, the mass line and the class line, proletarian feminism, and the nationality question. Marx, Lenin, and Mao made qualitative theoretical leaps in proletarian theory by developing each of its three component parts.
(i) During the pre-monopoly stage of capitalism, Marx and Engels developed dialectical and historical materialism, discovered the laws of motion of the capitalist mode of production particularly the concept of surplus-value, developed scientific socialism based on the theory of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat as the transition to a classless society, and revealed the origins of women’s oppression and path to women’s emancipation. Dialectical materialism is a philosophy, a representation of the proletarian class struggle in theory. Historical materialism is the science of history.
(ii) During the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, Lenin waged struggle against bourgeois idealist philosophy, further developed materialist philosophy, emphasized the centrality of contradiction in dialectics, elaborated the economic and political dynamics of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, exposed the labor aristocracy as the social base of opportunism in the proletarian movements in the imperialist countries, achieved new clarity on the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat, made creative advances in the theory and practice of constructing the proletarian revolutionary party, developed a new theory of uninterrupted two-stage revolution in Russia, formulated the worker-peasant alliance as a strategy in the democratic revolution, showed that it was possible for socialism to achieve victory in one country in the face of world war and imperialist encirclement, warned of the dangers of capitalist restoration stemming from small production and even more importantly the generation of a new bourgeoisie from within the commanding heights of the state, advanced the struggle for women’s emancipation, and properly linked the nationality question to the world proletarian revolution. Following Lenin, Stalin theorized, defended, and popularized Marxism-Leninism through texts such as “The Foundations of Leninism” and “History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks).” He played a leading role in successful socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. and the world-historic defeat of fascism during World War II. At the same time, Stalin committed errors in theory and practice when he prematurely declared the end of antagonistic classes and class struggle in the Soviet Union; considered capitalist restoration a danger associated mainly with external class enemies; and advanced a Popular Front policy which was strategically correct, but failed to guard against revisionism in its application by many Communist Parties.
(iii) In the international context of imperialism, World War II, proletarian and national liberation movements, and the restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R., Mao led the Chinese Revolution, the Great Debate against modern revisionism, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Mao took proletarian theory to a third higher stage by articulating the law of contradiction (the unity and struggle of opposites) as the fundamental law of dialectical materialism; ridding dialectical materialism of the notion of the negation of the negation; further formulating the Marxist theory of knowledge; popularizing Marxist philosophy; developing the political economy of socialism by analyzing the laws of motion of socialist construction and assessing the positive and negative experiences of the Soviet Union; establishing that the superstructure and consciousness can transform the base and that the productive forces can be developed by placing politics in command in every field; advancing the military science of the proletariat into the comprehensive and universal theory of people’s war; creating the strategy applicable to the semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries of making New Democratic Revolution through protracted people’s war led by the proletariat and its political party, people’s army, and revolutionary united front; recognizing the existence of bureaucrat capital; developed the concept of the people’s democratic dictatorship and the handling of contradictions among the people, distinguishing between antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions; formulating the concepts of the mass line, the masses as the makers of history, and the right to rebel against reactionaries; analyzing the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union; developing the concepts of criticism and self-criticism, two-line struggle, rectification, and ideological remoulding in the party; advancing the Marxist understanding of women’s oppression and the struggle for women’s emancipation; and above all else leading the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, theorizing the continuation of revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat to prevent capitalist restoration, the rise of the bourgeoisie inside the party as the rise of revisionism, and the need to mobilize the masses to overthrow capitalist roaders in authority. The restoration of capitalism in 1976 in China vindicated the necessity of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, as well as Mao and the Four’s understanding of the continuation of class struggle under socialism.
THE NATURE OF PRESENT-DAY U.S. SOCIETY
5. The United States is one of the largest countries in the world, after Russia, Canada, and China, with a total land area of 3,794,000 square miles. The continental U.S. is located in North America, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean. It has the large Rocky Mountains in the west, a great central plain, and hills and the smaller Appalachian Mountains in the east. The climate of the continental U.S. is diverse due to its tremendous size and range of geographic features. It is arid in the southwest, alpine over the Rocky Mountains, semiarid in the central plain, humid subtropical in the southeast, and humid continental in the northeast. Across this enormous expanse of land stolen from the First Nations and the Chicano/Mexicano people, there are the world’s largest coal reserves, as well as timber, natural gas, petroleum, water, and various mineral deposits, including copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, and zinc. The continental U.S. borders on Canada in the north and Mexico in the southwest. Although separated by water, it is proximate to the Caribbean and Central American regions in the southeast. The U.S. integrated the annexed territory of Hawai’i as its 50th state and maintains American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands as outright colonial possessions for military and other purposes today. It continues to oppress the people of Cuba, a former U.S. semi-colony, and the Philippines, a former U.S. colony.
6. The geographic position of the U.S. has its advantages and disadvantages for the Socialist Revolution. In terms of advantages, the boundaries and entire territory of the continental U.S. was formed through the settler-colonial seizure of land, which will continue to give rise to many large and small struggles to reclaim land and natural resources, particularly by the First Nations and the Chicano/Mexicano people. The U.S. shares a heavily policed and militarized 2,000-mile southwestern border with Mexico, a country where the people are oppressed by imperialism and have a long history of engaging in militant struggles. Finally, the closeness of the U.S. to the Caribbean and Central American regions means that the peoples’ struggles in these colonial and semi-colonial countries may spill over into the continental U.S. itself, including through the respective oppressed-nationality communities in the U.S. In terms of disadvantages, the U.S. shares a 4,000-mile northern border with Canada, an imperialist junior partner and fellow settler-colonial state. The U.S. is also located at a tremendous distance from the various European imperialist countries and Japan; the capitalist countries of Russia and China; and the oppressed nations and peoples of Asia and Africa. This relative geographic isolation of the U.S. has historically diminished the effects of inter-imperialist wars, imperialist wars, and revolutionary wars on the domestic situation and may play a similar role in influencing future developments.
7. The U.S. has a population of more than 310 million, or about 4.5 percent of the world total. It is the third most populous country after China and India, which each have a population roughly four times larger. Around 71.2 percent of the U.S. population lives in cities and urbanized areas of 50,000 or more people. Another 9.5 percent lives in urban clusters of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people. The three most populous urbanized areas are New York-Newark (18.4 million), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (12.2 million), and Chicago-Gary (8.6 million). The population is most densely concentrated east of the Mississippi River, while the western U.S. is lightly populated outside of specific cities and urbanized areas.
The U.S. is a multinational country. More than 60 percent of the U.S. population belongs to the oppressing Euro-American nation, formed historically through the amalgamation of peoples of different European ancestries. There are many oppressed nationalities that have each faced brutal violence from the genocidal state, including African American / New Afrikan, Chicano / Mexicano, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Filipino, Hawai’ian, various First Nations, and other nationalities. The national territories of the Black and Chicano / Mexicano peoples, the two largest oppressed nationalities, are located in the region of the country known as the Sunbelt, extending from the Southwest to the Southeast. Furthermore, due to the uneven development of capitalism within the U.S., there are also regional concentrations of poverty with their own particularities, such as the Appalachian region in the eastern part of the country. Eighty percent of the total U.S. population mainly speaks English and twelve percent mainly speaks Spanish. The five most widely-spoken languages are English, Spanish, Chinese, French, and Tagalog. By consciously rejecting social chauvinism and U.S. patriotism, the proletariat and the oppressed masses living in the U.S. inherit a proud tradition of struggle. This tradition includes First Nations and Chicano / Mexicano resistance to U.S. settler-colonialism, hundreds of African slave uprisings during chattel slavery, and the revolutionary traditions that many oppressed nationalities in the U.S. bring with them from the colonial and semi-colonial countries.
8. Class society was imposed on the territory of the present-day continental U.S. through European colonization. The European invasion and conquest represented a break in the continuous and spontaneous development of the First Nations, resulting in genocide. Before 1492, there were between 70-100 million First Nations peoples living in the Americas, including 10 million in North America, 30 million in Mesoamerica, and 50-70 million in South America, constituting hundreds of different communities. In North America, the First Nations included the Inuit, Aleut, Cree, Chipewyan, Kaska, Chilcotin, Ingalik, Beothuk, and others in the Arctic and Subarctic regions, numbering 100,000 people; the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Kwa-Kwa-Ka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxalk, Salish, Yurok, and others in the Pacific Northwest region, numbering 4 million people; the Sahaptin, Chopunnish, Shoshone, Siksikas, and others between the Pacific coastal mountain range and the central plains, numbering 200,000 people; the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Cree, Siksikas, Crow, Kiowa, Shoshone, Mandan, and others in the central plain region, numbering 1 million people; the Kaniekehake, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Ojibway, Algonkin, Micmac, Wendat, Potowatomi, Tuscarora, and others in the region stretching from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Coast, numbering 2 million people; the Choctaw, Creek, Chikasaw, Cherokee, Natchez, Tonkawa, Atakapa, and others in the Southeast, numbering 3 million people; and the Pueblo, Hopi, Zuni, Hualapai, Mojave, Yuma, Cocopa, Pimas, Papagos, Athapascans, and others in the Southwest, numbering 2 million people. During the 16th century alone, the genocide committed by the European colonizers caused the population of the First Nations in the Americas as a whole to drop from 70-100 million to 12 million. Prior to the conquest, the First Nations in North America were often classless and matrilineal, with economies based on the land, involving activities of hunting, fishing, trade, and farming. In many of these societies, women held powerful political positions and two-spirit people had important social roles. Thus, the beginning of European settler-colonialism in North America marked at the same time the establishment and consolidation of class society, women’s oppression and the oppression of non-gender-binary people.
9. Initially, the social formation in the US was constituted by chattel slavery integrated into the world market on the one hand, combined with commercial capital and manufacturing characterized by relations of formal domination on the other. The growth of the industrial bourgeoisie in the North bolstered by the first waves of proletarian immigrant labor ultimately culminated in a violent struggle with the semi-feudal aristocracy of the South, which briefly opened the possibility of comprehensive democratic revolution and the formation of a free petty-commodity-producing peasantry from among the formerly-enslaved African people as a market for Northern industry. This revolution was aborted in its infancy by the alliance of nascent monopoly capital with resurgent semi-feudal reaction, leading to the perpetuation of bonded labor in agriculture well into the 20th century. Today, the US forms the globally hegemonic faction of imperialist monopoly capital. The modern proletariat in the US was initially constituted by European and Asian immigrants, as well as Africans who had to a greater or lesser degree escaped the plantation system. However, the exclusionist and genocidal drive of white labor tended to expel non-Europeans from the main sites of production. At the same time, the settler character of the US inhibited the conclusive stabilization of the Euro-American proletariat as a class until the waning decades of the 19th century, with the perpetual opening of new “living space” through the extermination of the First Nations, contributing to a labor market much more favorable to the sellers of labor power than that found in Europe itself. The initial development of US monopoly capital was fertilized by a continual flow of fresh proletarian labor both from the rest of the world and the internal oppressed nations. The petty bourgeoisie of the Euro-American nation has always had a defining influence on the nation as a whole, beginning with the agricultural small producers who were willing to militantly defend their own economic interests against the state but served ultimately as shock troops of white-supremacist genocide, and continuing today with the immense population of small business owners, middle managers and professionals who form the rank-and-file of settler populism from the militia and Patriot movements to the Tea Party and the Republican base.
10. There are three fundamental contradictions in the world today:
(i) Between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples;
(ii) Between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the capitalist and imperialist countries;
(iii) Between competing imperialist countries.
The principal contradiction on the world scale is the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples, which determines and influences the other contradictions.
The U.S. is the most powerful imperialist country today, the sole superpower. The U.S. increasingly relies on its military might to maintain its dominant position in the world. Within the past decade, the U.S. has launched wars of aggression with large troop deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq; waged military operations in the Philippines, Colombia, Haiti, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and other countries; threatened Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and other countries; and provided huge military aid to junior partner states such as Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Somalia, Colombia, and other countries. The U.S. has a troop presence in roughly 150 countries and a global empire of more than 550,000 military facilities on over 5,000 domestic and international sites. These sites include approximately 1,100 military installations outside of the U.S. that are spread throughout the world. The U.S. had military expenditures of $711 billion in 2011, which was 41 percent of the world total and the highest of any country. There are approximately 1.5 million active-duty military personnel and 1.5 million reserve military personnel in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The “Big Five” military contractors, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, directly employ more than 500,000 people in total.
The military supremacy of the U.S., reflected in the tremendous and unprecedented size of its repressive state apparatus, enforces U.S. economic, financial, political, and cultural domination in the midst of the severe crisis of the world capitalist system. Without this military supremacy, the U.S. would not be able to enforce its policy of dollar hegemony on the world, which determines the denomination of oil and other important commodities in U.S. dollars, and ensures that the U.S. dollar is used for payments between countries and for their reserves of foreign exchange. This allows the U.S. to proceed down the road of being the world’s leading imperialist power and largest debtor nation at the same time, soaking up the world’s savings by continuing to issue treasury bonds to willing investors and enabling the U.S. to import more than it exports.
Simultaneously, the globalization of industrial production, meaning that the overwhelming majority of all the industrial workers in the world are now located in the semi-colonial countries, enables U.S. imperialism to extract ever greater super-profits through super-exploitation. This over-accumulation of profits through production globalization is the basis for the phenomenon of “financialization”, meaning the increasing investment of profits in speculative activities rather than new production. In sum, U.S. imperialism exploits the masses of people in the semi-colonial and colonial countries through unequal exchange, foreign direct investments; portfolio investments; debt servitude; and enforcing the policies of liberalization, privatization, and globalization through institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
While U.S. imperialism exploits the oppressed nations and peoples, and remains the leading power for now, it is also engaged in intensifying competition with the other capitalist and imperialist countries attempting to expand their own spheres of influence. The unrelenting long-term tendency of this rivalry, e.g. between the U.S. and the Western European countries or between the U.S. and Japan, is toward inter-imperialist war. The sharpening contradictions between the U.S. and Russia, as well as between the U.S. and China, reflected for example in the developing BRIC formation, must also be understood in these terms. Inter-imperialist rivalry and war threatens to unleash new horrors on the people of the world in the 21st century, but will also present new openings and opportunities that must be seized by the proletariat and its revolutionary parties.
11. The U.S. today is a capitalist-imperialist country and a prison-house of nationalities formed through settler-colonialism, slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. The repressive state apparatus has a massive domestic component, similar to the international component described above. This includes 657,000 police and sheriff’s patrol officers and 160,000 detectives and criminal investigators, with 112,000 direct supervisors. They are the armed frontline personnel for an organized regime of mass incarceration, featuring more than 1,800 federal and state prisons, more than 3,000 jails, and 371,000 bailiffs, correctional officers, and jailers, with 46,000 direct supervisors.
The basic features of the U.S. capitalist economy are determined by the contradiction between, on the one hand, production processes socialized on an international scale in the form of global commodity chains and, on the other hand, the appropriation of surplus value by U.S. capitalists. The globalization of industrial production has coincided with the massive expansion of the sectors inside the country involved in the circulation, distribution, and consumption of commodities, as well as general social reproduction, and the proportional decline of the sectors involved in the production of surplus value. This is popularly understood as the predominance of the “service economy.”
The goods-producing sector (mining, construction, and manufacturing) in the U.S., excluding agriculture, now constitutes only 12.4% of total employment and the agriculture sector constitutes only 1.5%, while the services-providing sector constitutes 78.8%. Furthermore, federal, state, and local government employs approximately 22.5 million people, or 15.7% of total employment. This number is higher than any other industry sector, such as professional and business services (16.7 million), health care and social assistance (16.4 million), retail trade (14.4 million), leisure and hospitality (13.0 million), and manufacturing (11.5 million). The so-called “public sector,” understood as such by social democrats and revisionists, should in reality be understood as a component of imperialist bureaucrat capitalism, part and parcel of the overall capitalist economy.
Within the goods-producing sector, 11.5 million people are employed in manufacturing, 5.5 million in construction, and 0.7 million in mining. The five largest manufacturing industries by employment are transportation equipment, including motor vehicles and parts (1.5 million), food manufacturing (1.4 million), fabricated metal products (1.4 million), machinery (1.1 million), and computer and electronic products (1.1 million). Roughly 1.2 million people are employed in the building trades.
We must conduct further social investigation and class analysis of the U.S., its economic regions, its specific cities and towns, and the particular characteristics of these entities.
12. There are three fundamental contradictions in present-day U.S. society:
(i) Between the U.S. bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the U.S.;
(ii) Between the U.S. bourgeoisie and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S.;
(iii) Between the oppressing Euro-American nation and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S.
The principal contradiction, which currently plays the leading and decisive role, determining and influencing the existence and development of the other contradictions, is the contradiction between the U.S. bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the U.S. This contradiction determines the other contradictions between the U.S. bourgeoisie and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S., between the oppressing Euro-American nation and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S., within the U.S. bourgeoisie, between the U.S. bourgeoisie and its international capitalist rivals, between the petty bourgeoisie and other classes, between men and women within the proletariat, between straight/cis people and queer people within the proletariat, and between proletarians of different nationalities.
At the same time, the principal contradiction on the world scale between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples determines and influences the development of the three fundamental contradictions in U.S. society.
The position of the U.S. as an imperialist country and the sole superpower enables it to appease the upper stratum of the proletariat and other classes in the U.S. with material benefits, even while suppressing the lower stratum of the proletariat with its police, courts, and prisons. This position furthermore determines the composition of the proletariat in the U.S. through, on the one hand, forced migration from the colonial and semi-colonial countries and, on the other hand, the globalization of U.S. production and the growth of the massive service, sales, and office sectors of the U.S. economy. The existence of a relatively large petty bourgeoisie is also deeply connected to the international status of the U.S.
On the nationality question, the bourgeoisie uses the oppressed nationalities in the U.S. as instruments in various ways against the other oppressed nations and peoples of the world, even while subjecting the masses among them to ruthless domination.
Historically, the U.S. state has cultivated the identification of the oppressing Euro-American nation most closely with U.S. imperialism and this continues to be the strategy of a section of the U.S. bourgeoisie. However, the dislocating economic and political transformations of U.S. imperialism, the interest of the U.S. bourgeoisie in promoting immigrant labor and production globalization, and at the same time its constant whipping-up of U.S. social chauvinism is generating a mass base for fascism among petty bourgeois and lumpen proletarian sections of the Euro-American nation. This fascism is the contemporary form of the right-wing populism that has been a defining aspect of U.S. settler-colonial society from its founding.
Thus, the three fundamental contradictions in U.S. society must be understood in the context of the international situation, the three fundamental contradictions on the world scale, and the principal contradiction on the world scale.
THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION
13. Due to the capitalist-imperialist nature of present-day U.S. society, the present stage of the revolution has a proletarian-socialist character. It is a Socialist Revolution seeking the complete overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in place of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and the triumph of socialism over capitalism. The target of the revolution is capitalism-imperialism, as formed through the concrete history of settler-colonialism, slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism.
It is incorrect to propose an intermediate stage of a struggle for democracy, whether conceived as the completion of an unfinished bourgeois democratic revolution or as a New Democratic Revolution based in a single oppressed nation, that would hypothetically precede the proletarian revolution. Proletarian revolution is the immediate program of the proletariat and its political party in the U.S.
14. Carrying out a Socialist Revolution requires conducting a general analysis of the various classes in contemporary U.S. society. Such an analysis must examine the economic status of the different classes and their respective political attitudes, in order to distinguish the real friends from the real enemies of Socialist Revolution. Classes are large groups of people differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production, by their relation (in most cases fixed and formulated in law) to the means of production, by their role in the social organization of labor, and consequently, by the dimensions of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. Classes are groups of people one of which can appropriate the labor of another owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social economy – in sum, the relations between the exploiters and the exploited. These relations are not stagnant. We see class as a process. Present-day U.S. society contains the following classes:
(i) The U.S. bourgeoisie is the ruling class in U.S. society. The leading center of this class is the imperialist bourgeoisie, whose state rules over the whole country. This state is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, with the repressive apparatus of the military, police, prisons, jails, and courts at its core, as well as the entire federal, state, and local government. Every elected official ultimately serves the bourgeoisie. The U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie exploits and super-exploits proletarians and oppressed masses all over the world, appropriating their labor as surplus value, driven by the imperative of limitless capital accumulation. It controls and legally owns the commanding heights of the means of production. Its domination extends throughout the superstructure, where institutions in the fields of communications, culture, education, family, labor relations, and non-profit enterprise function to reproduce the conditions of capitalist exploitation. The bourgeoisie encompasses those who possess and control vast amounts of finance and industrial capital, high-level corporate officers and managers, board members of big capitalist enterprises, top government bureaucrats and other politicians, commanders of the military and the police, a layer of the trade union leadership, attorneys at large corporate law firms, upper administrators at elite universities, public intellectuals who are mouthpieces for the capitalist system, and others.
The bourgeoisie should not be understood merely as the “1 percent,” the notion that it constitutes a miniscule part of the population. Statistics consistently show the bourgeoisie in general to be around 10 percent of the population, concentrating a great majority of all significant financial wealth in its hands, though a much smaller strata occupies the key commanding positions of monopoly capital.
The US bourgeoisie as a whole is the enemy of the proletariat and the oppressed masses throughout the world and the target of the Socialist Revolution.
(ii) The petty bourgeoisie includes full-time students in college and other higher education; most of the intelligentsia, such as teachers, professors, many engineers, many doctors, many lawyers, and various professionals; most of those engaged in business and financial operations; direct supervisors of workers and employees; lower and certain middle managers; small owners of incorporated businesses with or without employees; small owners of unincorporated businesses with employees; sales agents and representatives; and those involved in miscellaneous well-paid occupations requiring the possession of some specialized training or skills.
The U.S. has a relatively large petty bourgeoisie, constituting approximately 40 to 45 percent of the total population at more than 70 million people. The existence of such a sizable petty bourgeoisie is a result of the basic character of the U.S. as an imperialist country, especially its international rise after World War II, its condition as one of two superpowers (in contention with its Soviet social-imperialist rival), and now its sole superpower status.
The petty bourgeoisie can be divided into three sections. Members of the first section are the wealthiest and manage to accumulate savings beyond their consumption needs each year. They aspire to join the bourgeoisie and are the most politically influenced by the bourgeoisie among the three sections. The second section consists of those who are economically self-sufficient, but do not earn enough to accumulate substantial savings. The third section is made up of those who are unable to economically sustain themselves and are continually pushed down into the ranks of the proletariat and semi-proletariat.
The contradiction between the oppressing Euro-American nation and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S. comes out sharply when examining the composition and political attitudes of the petty bourgeoisie. The petty bourgeoisie is a much bigger portion of the oppressing Euro-American nation than the oppressed nationalities. Including home equity, median black and Latino householders have respective net worths of $6,314 and $7,683, while the median white householder has a net worth of $110,500, roughly 15 times larger in magnitude. Politically, the divide along lines of oppressor nation and oppressed nationalities is no less stark. Since the days of the settler-colonial conquest of North America, the Euro-American petty bourgeoisie has constituted a mass base of reaction, often advancing its backward and outright genocidal demands through right-wing populist trends. While it is possible for a substantial minority of the Euro-American petty bourgeoisie to gain revolutionary consciousness, such as the white youth and students of the 1960s-1970s New Communist Movement, this will occur only in the context of the development of tremendous struggles by the most exploited and oppressed in U.S. society and around the world. In contrast, the petty bourgeoisie of the oppressed nationalities has participated in many progressive and even revolutionary struggles against white supremacy. However, it is continuously influenced by the U.S. bourgeoisie to identify with U.S. capitalism at the expense of the proletariat and the semi-proletariat, to frame its demands in terms of the perfection rather than the overthrow of bourgeois democracy, and to offer its services to U.S. imperialism against the oppressed nations and peoples of the world. It must be won through struggle to a program of Socialist Revolution under proletarian leadership.
(iii) The proletariat is a class that is dispossessed of all means of production and forced to sell its labor power to the capitalist owners of the means of production in order to survive. It includes the industrial proletariat, which is exploited by the capitalists through the appropriation of the surplus value it produces in return for a wage. It also includes other proletarians who are dispossessed and forced to sell their labor power in the economic sectors involved in the circulation, distribution, and consumption of commodities, as well as general social reproduction, rather than the production of surplus value.
The notion is widespread among social democrats and revisionists that a majority of the people in the U.S. belong in the working class, with estimated figures ranging anywhere from a substantial majority to 99 percent of the population. In reality, the proletariat in the U.S. constitutes only about 35 to 40 percent of the total people in the country, numbering roughly 65 million. This encompasses the relatively large labor aristocracy, the lower stratum of the proletariat, and the proletarian strata between them.
The industrial proletariat engaged full-time in many production, transportation and material moving, and construction and extraction occupations numbers approximately 15 million people. Roughly another 4 million industrial proletarians work as casualized laborers in the same occupations, employed part-time anywhere between 1 to 34 hours a week.
In addition to the industrial proletariat, there is a substantially smaller rural proletariat numbering 0.7 million people, with another 0.2 million casualized part-time laborers, in specific farming, fishing, and forestry occupations.
Other proletarians in the economic sectors involved in the circulation, distribution, and consumption of commodities, as well as general social reproduction, can be found in particular occupations in office and administrative support, sales, personal care and service, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, food preparation and serving, and healthcare support. This section of the proletariat is larger than the industrial and rural proletariat combined, numbering 27 million full-time workers and employees and 14 million part-time workers and employees. This is a result of the globalization of industrial production, the massive expansion of the economic sectors inside the U.S. not engaged in the production of surplus value, and above all else the parasitic and moribund character of the U.S. imperialist social formation.
The labor aristocracy consists of the upper stratum of the industrial proletariat and other proletarians receiving direct material benefits from U.S. imperialism. Its political influence over the other sections of the proletariat must be thoroughly defeated.
Aside from the relatively large labor aristocracy which receives direct material benefits from U.S. imperialism, there is a broad yet extremely uneven embourgeoisement of the proletariat as a whole, where wide strata have access to some small stock of wealth. This phenomenon corresponds in large degree to the divide between the oppressed nationalities and oppressing Euro-American nation, which is reflected in data on asset ownership.
The lower stratum of the proletariat is the most important social base for communists in the U.S. It is heavily constituted by oppressed nationalities, including populations that are part of internal oppressed nations, as well as immigrant workers.
The proletariat is the leading and main force in the Socialist Revolution. More research and social investigation must be conducted to determine the respective proportion of these categories within the proletariat.
(iv) The semi-proletariat refers to those who are unable to find regular waged employment and end up in impoverished conditions of petty self-employment and assorted temporary odd jobs. The core consists of those who are self-employed in various proletarian jobs without owning incorporated businesses and without paid employees. It also includes a substantial section of short-term and long-term unemployed people. The semi-proletariat amounts roughly to 20 million people, or 10 percent of the U.S. population.
Due to increases in the casual labor force, the semi-proletariat is an important and growing class. However, the basic characteristics of this class and the unstable nature of its work creates difficulties in building organizations within its ranks. Nevertheless, it is the most crucial ally of the proletariat in the U.S. that must be organized to fight against the bourgeoisie.
(v) The lumpen proletariat is the class that is dispossessed from social production and, as a result, engages in anti-people, anti-social, or simply illegal activities to survive. It exists because of the permanent forced unemployment and underemployment that is characteristic of the capitalist system. The lumpen proletariat includes petty thieves, robbers, low-level gangsters, small-time pimps, prostituted people, vagrants, and others involved in anti-social or criminal dealings as their principal mode of life. Lumpen proletarians are concentrated in urban poor communities in cities and towns.
The lumpen proletariat is a numerically increasing class in present-day U.S. society due to several factors. It is a product first of all of the structural unemployment and underemployment that is an inevitable aspect of all capitalist societies. Additionally, the U.S. bourgeoisie in particular uses its decadent culture and its prison system to deliberately reproduce masses of lumpen proletarians who have an anti-people orientation, transforming dispossessed proletarians and semi-proletarians into elements who prey on their own communities, especially among certain oppressed nationalities.
The lumpen proletariat is a dangerous and volatile class that can be influenced by other classes. Without political guidance by the proletariat, lumpen proletarians develop as foot soldiers under lumpen bourgeois warlords or simply generate their own individualistic ambitions in opposition to the rest of the people. The lumpen proletariat can easily become hired tools of the bourgeoisie. However, they can also be remolded to serve the people in conditions where the proletariat is well-organized and the struggle for Socialist Revolution is advancing.
15. The enemy and target of the Socialist Revolution is the bourgeoisie. The leading and main force in the revolution is the proletariat, particularly its lower stratum. The closest friend of the proletariat can be found in the masses of semi-proletarians. The petty bourgeoisie is a vacillating class, including a progressive section that can be won to fight under proletarian leadership in the midst of intensifying capitalist crisis and a reactionary section liable to form a mass base for right-wing populism, including fascist trends. The strategy for Socialist Revolution thus entails:
(i) Uniting the lower stratum of the proletariat, defeating the influence of the labor aristocracy, and winning over the masses of proletarians and semi-proletarians; and
(ii) Winning over a progressive section of the petty bourgeoisie, particularly among the oppressed nationalities and the youth and students of all nationalities, to the immediate program of Socialist Revolution under proletarian leadership; and
(iii) Paralyzing the instability of the remainder of the petty bourgeoisie, employing different methods for different sections (e.g. petty-bourgeois liberals, petty-bourgeois fascists).
The strategic united front therefore consists of the lower stratum of the proletariat with the masses of proletarians and semi-proletarians, and a progressive section of the petty bourgeoisie that must be firmly lead by the proletariat.
The vast power of the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie in its home base of operations, the relatively large size of the petty bourgeoisie and the labor aristocracy, the embourgeoisement of other proletarian strata, and the constant reproduction by the capitalist system of a lumpen proletariat engaged in anti-people activities means that the development of proletarian revolutionary politics in the U.S. confronts obstacles at every turn. A general class analysis of present-day U.S. society reveals that communists should expect a protracted struggle for Socialist Revolution demanding strategic firmness and that communist work will require tactical flexibility to seize openings within situations that may involve many contending political tendencies, including fascist trends antagonistic to the existing bourgeois state and to the proletariat and oppressed masses.
Utilizing international and domestic developments, communists in the U.S. must accumulate their subjective forces through step-by-step solid organizing; operate within a growing sea of masses fighting on their own initiative, supporting and learning from them, heightening their militant struggles, and propagating revolutionary ideas among them; and conduct the preparatory work necessary to be in a position during objectively revolutionary situations to coalesce an immense camp of tens of millions of combative masses under communist leadership, in contention with the powerful camp of the bourgeoisie and its allies. There should be no populist illusions involving scenarios where a social majority quickly forms in support of socialism based principally on economic demands and easily overwhelms a tiny and isolated ruling class.
16. In the final analysis, nationality struggle is a matter of class struggle. The oppressed nationalities in the U.S. are overwhelmingly composed in their majority today of industrial proletarians who are super-exploited through the capitalist appropriation of the surplus value they produce, other proletarians forced to sell their labor power to the owners of the means of production in order to survive, and semi-proletarians unable to find regular jobs who end up in impoverished conditions of petty self-employment. Oppressed nationalities are heavily represented in the lower stratum of the proletariat. More than ever, the national question is part of the general question of the proletarian revolution and the achievement of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
It is incorrect to conceive of the masses of oppressed nationalities today merely as an “ally” or a “reserve” of the Socialist Revolution, when they in fact make up an overwhelming part of the lower stratum of the proletariat, the leading and main force of the revolution. Such a view rests on an abstract and white-chauvinist notion of a “multinational working class” existing outside of the concrete conditions and development of U.S. society. It also ignores the potential of oppressed-nationality proletarians to constitute a leading element in the struggle of the proletariat as a whole, which is a real fear of the U.S. bourgeoisie. The contemporary response of the U.S. bourgeoisie to African American / New Afrikan proletarians taking on such a role in the struggles of the 1960s-1970s can be seen in mass incarceration, denial of democratic rights, dispossession from the formal economy, and the use of the prison system to deliberately reproduce masses of lumpen proletarians with an anti-people orientation.
Furthermore, it is incorrect to understand the strategic alliance for revolution in the U.S. as the “merger” of the struggle of the multinational working class for socialism and the struggles of the oppressed nationalities for democracy, when the great majority among oppressed nationalities themselves are industrial proletarians, other proletarians, and semi-proletarians. Only proletarian revolution and socialism can genuinely end the exploitation and oppression of the masses of oppressed nationalities.
At the same time, it must be noted that the petty bourgeoisie and even a certain section of the bourgeoisie among particular oppressed nationalities also face white chauvinism and national oppression, in addition to proletarians and semi-proletarians. They have a very different relationship to the U.S. state than the petty bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie of the oppressing Euro-American nation. The imposition of national oppression on entire peoples in the U.S., impacting the range of classes among them, gives rise to nationality struggles involving multiple classes, led by different classes, and equipped with various class programs. Communists must oppose all state repression of these struggles; support all democratic demands of these struggles, including the key demand for reparations; build a broad revolutionary movement alongside all nationality struggles that weaken U.S. capitalism and the bourgeoisie; and unite with other proletarian revolutionaries within these struggles. Depending on the concrete situation, the development of national-in-form organizations may be an immediate task of communists.
Moreover, as the history of both the 1920s and the 1960s demonstrated, the substantially white-chauvinist character of the workers’ movement in the U.S. will lead inevitably to the construction of communist organizations based among specific oppressed nationalities. This is a process that is ongoing today and a factor that must be considered in developing the broadest possible organizational unity of all proletarian revolutionaries in the U.S., based on proletarian internationalism and upholding the right of self-determination of all oppressed nationalities.
Recognizing the above, we unequivocally uphold the right of self-determination of all oppressed nationalities, up to and including the right of the African American / New Afrikan nation in the Black Belt South, the Chicano nation in the Southwest, the First Nations, the Hawai’ian nation, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands to secede from the U.S. state. These nations are part of the U.S. state today solely as a result of settler-colonialism, slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism.
We also unconditionally support the struggle of oppressed nationalities for revolutionary land reform against the oppressing Euro-American nation, the U.S. bourgeoisie, and the U.S. state, meaning the seizure and redistribution of land. Unlike the semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries, where agrarian revolution is the axis of the New Democratic Revolution due to the basic contradiction between feudalism and the broad masses of people, the land question in the U.S. is a result of the combined process of settler-colonial and colonial conquest, the imposition of chattel slavery, and the development of slavery into sharecropping. This means that there will be land claims by different oppressed nationalities that must be resolved from a standpoint of proletarian internationalism. The land question in the U.S. stems from the fundamental contradiction between the U.S. bourgeoisie and the oppressed nationalities, and the fundamental contradiction between the oppressing Euro-American nation and the oppressed nationalities. Therefore, its resolution does not constitute a separate stage in the revolution. Its resolution can be fully achieved only as a part of the proletarian revolution.
17. Patriarchy is the institution of women’s oppression that has existed throughout class society. Different types of class societies have different types of patriarchy, depending on their particular level of development, history, and conditions. The slave-owning, feudal, capitalist, and imperialist ruling classes, and the states they control, have been the enemies of women, because they uphold and perpetuate the patriarchal economic and social relations of their particular society.
Thus, class differentiates individuals more than sex and gender. Class viewpoint informs feminist theory and practice. There are three fundamental tendencies in feminism today: bourgeois feminism, petty-bourgeois feminism, and proletarian feminism. Bourgeois feminism, while supportive of a few women’s gains, upholds the current world imperialist system. Petty-bourgeois feminism criticizes aspects of the capitalist system but is not capable of proposing systemic solutions to overthrow it. Proletarian feminism uses historical materialism to analyze patriarchy systemically in the context of capitalism and national oppression. It demands the overthrow of capitalism, the struggle for socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the communist transformation of society as a whole as necessary conditions for the complete emancipation of women. Patriarchy cannot be fully abolished until the class contradictions that determine the conditions of human existence in the workplace, the family, and society overall are also abolished.
Proletarian feminism is materialist, basing its analysis on the development of social relations, rather than ideal notions of the unchanging “nature” of human beings. Therefore, proletarian feminism does not essentialize gender. Using historical materialism is crucial to understanding the origins of women’s oppression and thus, learning how to abolish it and replace it with a new system. The origins of women’s oppression coincided with the development of class society, private property, and the control of surplus.
The determining factor in history is the production and reproduction of immediate life: the production of the means of existence, food, clothing, shelter, and tools necessary for that production, and the reproduction of human beings. Social organization, which consists of the economic base and the superstructure, is determined by both types of production. The economic base encompasses the forces of production and the relations of production; in societies where the capitalist mode of production predominates, this exists as the contradiction between socialized production (in the organization of the means of production and human labor power) and capitalist appropriation. In the final instance, the base determines the superstructure, which consists of all the other social relations. The superstructure maintains and legitimizes the base and, at times can become principal and decisive.
Women have historically been excluded from social production and relegated to the reproductive sphere. With the emergence and development of capitalism however, women became incorporated into social production to an unprecedented extent, subjecting them to waged super-exploitation while creating new conditions and possibilities in their struggle for emancipation. With the transformation of capitalism into imperialism, the commodification of women, including in the global sex industry, has taken on new monstrous dimensions. While the gender division of labor is not the source of women’s oppression, we should aim to abolish it. Women must have control over the means of production in order to end their subordination. This is a matter of political power. The division between productive and reproductive labor must be eliminated under socialism, along with the division between mental and manual labor.
The feminist struggle is part of the people’s struggle. The revolutionary feminist movement must be adhered to the revolutionary movement of the proletariat. We must also recognize that the masses of men derive an immediate material benefit from the perpetuation of women’s oppression. However, because women’s unwaged domestic reproductive labor prepares the proletariat as a whole for exploitation and makes possible the appropriation of surplus value by the ruling classes, women’s oppression is nevertheless not in the historic interest of proletarian men either. In the workplace, because labor standards are set by the bottom line, the super-exploitation of women drags down the labor standards of all other sectors. These are some of the contradictions between proletarian men and proletarian women that need to be resolved in the course of the struggle for proletarian revolution. In general, this contradiction is non-antagonistic. However, it can become antagonistic in individual cases, such as those involving physical, sexual, and domestic violence.
The fight for women’s emancipation entails a continuation of the class struggle, after the overthrow of capitalism and during socialism. Oppressed women must be part of the struggle to abolish class society in order to fully abolish patriarchy, and all oppressed people must be part of the struggle to abolish patriarchy in order to fully abolish class society. The complete abolition of one cannot occur without the complete abolition of the other, yet nothing is preordained.
18. Communists must fully carry out the democratic and progressive struggle for the rights of queer people, by opposing state and individual violence against queer people, anti-queer policies in the workplace, and the continued denial of basic democratic rights on the basis of sexual orientation or gender. The total eradication of the policies and practices directed against queer people in U.S. society requires sweeping away the foundations of class society through Socialist Revolution. The queer struggle must be unified with the proletarian struggle. The masses of queer people must be organized in struggle against the capitalist State. The bourgeois leaders in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who sell-out the queer struggle, sponsoring corporate gay “pride” parades, racist scapegoating, and the abandonment of transgender issues must be delegitimized.
19. People’s War is a universally applicable theorization of proletarian power seizure. Communists must mobilize and rely on the masses in the struggle to seize power. The masses, organized in support of Socialist Revolution and unleashing their fighting initiative in all fields through different forms of organization, are an immense source of strength against the bourgeoisie. The components of the world proletarian revolution in all countries pass through the three phases of: strategic defensive, strategic equilibrium, and strategic offensive. The world is divided into imperialist countries, on the one hand, and colonial and semi-colonial countries, on the other hand, where the application of this principle to this day takes different forms depending on the concrete circumstances of each country in which it is carried out, along the lines of two generally different paths. In the imperialist countries, communists must conduct the necessary preparatory work of the subjective forces in all fields to be able to seize openings with the development of revolutionary situations.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROLETARIAN REVOLUTIONARY PARTY
20. The central task of the new Communist Party must be the seizure of power for the proletariat and the oppressed masses, meaning the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the waging of many cultural revolutions until the achievement of communism. The dictatorship of the proletariat over the reactionaries can only be consolidated if there is broad democracy for the people, the arousing of the masses, ideas coming from the masses, and supervision by the masses.
21. There is no proletarian revolutionary party today in the U.S. There is no party guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism that is developing the program, strategy, and tactics for the Socialist Revolution and consolidating the advanced elements among the proletariat and the oppressed masses. While there are sincere revolutionaries who belong to the existing parties and organizations and who should be supported when they promote the genuine interests of the masses, the parties and organizations in the U.S. that formerly upheld Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism have without exception descended into revisionism. This revisionism takes two forms: on the one hand, a “post-MLM” revisionism that declares new qualitative breakthroughs when none in fact have been made and, on the other hand, a backward-looking revisionism that now rejects Maoism as a third higher stage of proletarian theory and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as the most advanced historical milestone of the world proletarian revolution to date. In its struggle for power, the proletariat has no weapon other than organization. Without a revolutionary party based on the science of MLM, there can be no proletarian revolution.
22. The central task of communists in the U.S. in the current situation is to prepare for forming such a political party of the proletariat. This party will integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with the concrete practice of the Socialist Revolution in the U.S. Theoretical education in MLM is the first requirement in party building. Without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement. Based on the theory of MLM, communists must develop a correct political line through concrete analysis of the current overall world situation, the current particular domestic situation in the U.S., the history of the U.S. especially of the last hundred years, and international revolutionary experience. This concrete analysis of concrete conditions must be comprehensive, encompassing the fields of economic, political, military, and cultural activities. Class analysis to distinguish the friends from the enemies of the Socialist Revolution is the most important aspect of this investigation. Communists must build the party in close relationship with and while carrying out mass work, applying the mass line and the class line in struggles, and resolving the immediate questions facing the advance of the communist movement. On the one hand, it is a serious dogmatist error to separate party building from revolutionary practice. On the other hand, it is a serious empiricist error to equate party building with mass struggle, failing to recognize party building as a distinct task with its own principles and the central task in the current situation.
23. The proletarian revolutionary party must be built through active struggle against revisionism and subjectivism. Subjectivism appears theoretically as empiricism and dogmatism, and politically as Right and “Left” opportunism. Two-line struggle carried out according to the principle of democratic centralism is the basis of the party’s ongoing development. There must be constant and serious struggle against the influence of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois tendencies within the party, including economism, spontaneism, parliamentarianism, legalism, reformism, liberalism, sectarianism, anarchism, nationalism, and postmodernism. There must be continuous rectification of the party through rectification campaigns.
24. Members of communist organization must continuously remould themselves to focus their thoughts and actions on the central interest of the proletariat and the oppressed masses in the world proletarian revolution. We must possess and constantly strengthen the basic revolutionary attitudes of serving the people wholeheartedly; considering the welfare of the people above self-interest; carrying out self-remoulding through revolutionary work and struggle against bourgeois ideology; recognizing that hardship and sacrifice is a necessary part of the struggle of the proletariat and the oppressed masses; developing boldness that avoids unnecessary sacrifices; possessing a deep understanding of duty and responsibility in political work; promoting proletarian internationalism; combating various forms of liberalism and building principled unity; and carrying out criticism and self-criticism based on facts and putting politics in command.
25. Communists apply the mass line method of revolutionary leadership as developed by Mao, “from the masses, to the masses.” Communists take the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in such action. The mass line method is applied over and over again in an endless spiral, with the ideas becoming more correct, more vital and richer each time. This method step by step advances the central interest of the masses in proletarian revolution. The mass line must be posed against the commandist and tailist deviations in leadership. The commandist deviation involves overstepping the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of voluntary mass action. Communists must conduct investigations among the masses, teach them, and encourage them. The tailist deviation involves falling below the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of leading the masses forward. Communists must provide leadership to the masses, not tail behind certain backward elements. These deviations must be avoided by developing close ties with the masses, as well as between the leading bodies and the rank-and-file within communist organizations, constantly carrying out social investigation. The people and the people alone are the motive force in making world history. In every locale, communists conduct class analysis, determining the class composition of the population, and distinguishing the real friends from the real enemies of Socialist Revolution. Applying the class line, communists must prioritize mass work among the lower stratum of the proletariat and the masses of proletarians and semi-proletarians, while persuading and winning over a progressive section of the petty bourgeoisie particularly among the oppressed nationalities and the youth and students of all nationalities.
26. The organizational principle of communists is democratic centralism, meaning centralism based on inner-organization democracy and inner-organization democracy under centralized leadership. Centralism means the concentration of correct ideas and, on this basis, unity in thinking, policy, plan, command, and action. Both within and outside communist organization, there must be personal ease of mind and liveliness, as well as unity of will; there must be open and aboveboard discussion, as well as unity in work; and there must be freedom, as well as discipline. Without clarity on the problems at hand, achieved through the expression of different views, wide discussion and debate, and even the venting of anger, there can be no unity and centralism, no correct summation of experience, and no formulation of good lines, principles, policies, and methods. The whole organization must observe unified discipline: the individual is subordinate to the organization, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower level is subordinate to the higher level, and the entire organization is subordinate to the Congress and the Central Committee between congress periods.
27. The New Communist Party (Organizing Committee) commits itself, working together with other organized and unorganized revolutionaries in the U.S. who share our goal, to the construction of a political party capable of uniting millions of the most downtrodden proletarians who will lead all the exploited and oppressed to carry out a Socialist Revolution. Party construction is a task requiring many hundreds and thousands of new communists to come forward from the masses, as well as rigorous theoretical and political debate among active revolutionaries, both those who are currently with and without organization. An explicitly Marxist-Leninist-Maoist pole is needed to struggle for the highest unity around certain basic questions, including the character and objective of the future Communist Party, the character of socialist society, the guiding theory of MLM, the nature of present-day U.S. society and its fundamental contradictions, the socialist character of the revolution, the class analysis of U.S. society, the strategic alignment of class forces for socialist revolution, the national questions, the struggles of women, the struggles of queer people, and the path to socialist revolution. These are the questions on which theoretical and political struggle, meaning the clarification and elaboration of certain positions in unity and contention, must prevail over various schemes for watered-down eclecticism. There is no other path to party construction.