4. THE COMINFORM 1947-1956


Right Pro-USSR revisionism; Castroism, Trotskyism, Maoism, Marxism-Leninism





2. EUROPE MEETING NOVEMBER 1993; Reported 1994 by CL.

    Only by understanding these, can various strategy and tactics aiming to establish today=s new Marxist-Leninist International be sensibly assessed. We will assert here that today, the world=s Marxist-Leninist forces are astonishingly fragmented. This is undoubtedly due to the success of revisionist and bourgeois ideology. So successful, that it has even fogged such basic issues as : AWhat is Socialism?@ But we will also assert that the potential for growth is unparalleled in the last 40 years. There are plenty of Alost communist souls@ out there.

    Until recently they had a revisionist Ahome@, but now they are again looking for a theoretical and practical home from which to develop their progressive politics. Marxist-Leninists must try to ensure that this time their home will have a good and solid foundation. A non-sectarian but principled line will definitely attract some, if not many, of these people. One aspect of the present phase is marked by pulling these people into a principled debate.

    Why? Because this is one way to convince some communists, that Marxism-Leninism is the only way for these people to fulfill their progressive vision. Obviously, life and practical politics will convince yet more people of the need for Marxism-Leninism politics. But here, we are as yet only talking of the highest levels of consciousness - those who already think of themselves as Marxist-Leninists, or at least as convinced socialists. But before we start to convince these people, we Marxist-Leninism ourselves must be clear as to what is socialism.


ASocialism is that social system constructed by the working people, led by the working class, after their seizure of power. This is a social system in which the exploitation of human by human has been abolished, a social system in which production is planned with the aim to maximise the welfare of the working people. The working peoples in a socialist revolution, take steps to achieve these goals following immediately and directly after, the completion of the national democratic revolution in a colonial or semi-colonial type country. In those countries that have already settled the National Democratic tasks, the socialist revolution is the first and only revolution in the agenda. This socialist revolution in both types of countries is heralded by the seizure of power, and the creation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The socialist revolution then seizes the commanding means of production under the state, socialises the land, and moves in steps to establish the collectivisation of agriculture.@      To try and analyse the current situation before us, it may be of help to briefly show some of the struggles undergone by the previous internationals.

    We will briefly examine some aspects of the history of the Internationals. We try to concentrate on two aspects of these.
    First : How and why they were founded and their composition;
    Second the main struggles in the parties making up the International that led to their final dissolution. The conditions of the previous internationals are relevant to us today. We should be aware that each were dissolved under adverse conditions and that all were formed at the points of a high tide in the workers movement. At the end of Part One, we try and draw some overall conclusions that may apply to the current situation. 

    The IWMA was in fact a broad United Front. The First International was composed of communists, anarchists and Chartist inspired trades unionists. The trades unions at first provided militant strength, but were only at an early stage of development. Marx and Engels had articulated the philosophy of a labour based political economy, of a revolutionary dialectical materialism, of the need for a workers revolution. But as yet, they had not fully unmasked the Apre-Marxist@ socialist pretensions. This explains their continued ideological warfare even after the foundation of the IWMA. The Communist Manifesto was first published in 1847, yet Bakuninism and Proudhonism continued to plague the workers movement. Both, when coupled to a reactionary trades union leadership, were in the end to destroy the First International.

    It is true that it was the logical consequence of the ringing cry: @Workers of The World Unite!@ raised by the Founders of the Communist movement Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. But the IWMA was not a pre-meditated organised formation. Marx and Engels were far seeing political leaders of the workers. But even so, the IWMA was actually set up because of the pressing needs of a daily struggle. The First history of the IWMA was written down, by WILHELM EICHOFF, when Marx responded to his request for information. This elicited Marx=s rough draft, upon which Eichoff elaborated. Eichoff describes the formation of the IWMA:

AThe immediate motive for the formation of the IWMA was the latest Polish insurrection. The London workers sent a petition to Lord Palmerston with an appeal in which they called on him to intervene on behalf of Poland. At the same time they issued an address to the workers of Paris, calling on them to take joint action. The Parisians responded by sending a delegation to London. To welcome them, a public meeting gathered at St.Martin=s Hall, Long Acre, on September 28th 1864 at which Britons, Germans, Frenchmen, Poles and Italians were represented in large numbers. This meeting gave birth to the IWMA. Apart from the political purpose for which the meeting was called, it also raised the subject of general social conditions..@ Wilhelm Eichoff " IWMA: Its Establsihemnt Organisation & Poltical & Soical Activity & Growth"; July 1868; In Karl Marx & Frederick Engels; Collected Works (Hereafter M&E CW) Vol 21; Appendix 21; Appendix 3; p. 322-23.      But the labour aristocracy grew and developed opportunism. This became entwined with the sectarianism of the Bakunin school to poison the IWMA. This led to the fierce debate in the ABroad Front@ inside the First International. This AFront@ became progressively narrower, as the determination and the principles of the IWMA were made ever clearer by Marx and Engels. At the apex of the international struggle was the APARIS COMMUNE@ of 1870. Following this the disagreements between the wings of the Broad Front were forced into the open. It was then that the opportunists showed their stripes. It was then that GEORGE ODGER of the English Trades Union repudiated Marx=s Report AThe Civil War In France@ which after Marx=s Address, was adopted by the General Council of the IWMA on May 30 1871. This was only a fortnight after the fall of the Paris Commune. In it Marx had expounded :     But the English Trades unionists BENJAMIN LUCRAFT and Odger reneged on the position of the IWMA, and insisted that their names be struck off the address. As Marx said : AMen like Odger.. were apologists for MARIE J.L.THIER and JULES FAVRE.. the bitter opponents of the French working class.. the principal instigators of the massacres of the June 48.. Mr Odger knew nothing of the International for the last 5 years.@ Marx: Address to Council: M&E CW; Vol 22; p.610.      The fall of the Paris Commune, and the apologists of those like Odger, prompted the London Conference of the IWMA (September 17th 1871) to modify its rules and to re-organise. Marx=s minuted interventions show his counter attack was aimed to ideologically strengthen the IWMA :     Clearly one section of the broad united front, the Trade Unions had fallen into overt social reformism, their leaders rejecting the revolutionary path. Simultaneously, the anarchist MIKHAIL BAKUNIN was intriguing to take over the International. In the London Conference of the IWMA, Marx pointed out that Bakunin=s sectarianism with its mistaken policy of Aabstention from politics@, had actually inspired the criminal inactivity of progressives during the crucial first days of the Paris Commune. Bakunin was attacking the IWMA from the pseudo-left.
    (See M&E CW: Volume 22; Ibid; p.616).

    Bakunin was supported by the reformist leading elements of the trade unionists, in an un- holy alliance of anarchism and open reformism. Marx and Engels were forced to enter into polemical and political struggle to expose Bakunin. At the Hague Congress of the International (1872), Bakunin and his ally Guillaume were expelled for:

    Bakunin was therefore expelled for factional activity. As Engels pointed out, despite the successful expulsion of Bakunin, the divisions in the International forced some decisive rear guard action:     Both Marx and Engels knew that their own leadership would be far more remote if the move to New York took place. They knew this would expose the IWMA to further dangers. Why therefore, did they then, propose such a drastic step?
    Because the IWMA would otherwise have fallen into the wrong hands. A direct parallel will be later discussed to the manner in which the Third International was dissolved. This parallel is that of the entry into the workers movement of hidden revisionists.

    Bakunin=s so called AAlliance of Socialist Democracy@ was a historic pioneer. It was a pioneer showing how to wreck a workers organisation from the inside. Engels thought that it was the first example in the history of the workers movement, showing how internal sabotage could be used by the bourgeoisie to disrupt the workers movement:

AThese are, citizens, the facts.. For the first time in the history of working class struggles, we stumble over a secret conspiracy plotted in the midst of that class and intended to undermine not the existing capitalist regime but the very Association in which that regime finds its most energetic opponent. This is a conspiracy got up to hamper the proletarian movement. Thus whenever we meet it, we find it preaching the emasculating doctrine of abstention from political action; and while the plain profane Internationals are persecuted and imprisoned over nearly all of Europe, the valiant members of the Alliance enjoy a quite exceptional immunity. A
Engels F: "Address of the General Councial to All Members of the IWMA: Aug 4th, 1872"; M&E CW: Vol 23.
    The First International was therefore moved to New York. But this proved to be its undoing. Petit-bourgeois Associations professing AFree Love@, and various mystical religions including AShaker@ inspired communes, joined the IWMA. They believed in the possibility of intellectually convincing the bourgeoisie of the wickedness of their ways and of reforming capitalism. They infiltrated the IWMA and tried to change it from a revolutionary organisation into a reformist organisation. After some battles, the IWMA was dissolved in 1874. This dissolution was the end result of the AUnity@ of sectarian anarchist trends represented by Mikhail Bakunin, and the social reformism of the Trade union aristocracy. Bakunin=s factionalism, had forced the First International away from Marx and Engels= direct control; and away from the radical influence of the masses of the workers in the English and German trades unions. Lenin described the new stage:     But the IWMA which had been born of an urgent pressing need for international solidarity, had welded some Auniform tactics@. Lenin summarised the work of the First International :     Engels himself looked back on the role of the First International in 1890 May, when it had been dissolved for 16 years. Here he explicitly recognised that non-Marxist strands of the workers movement could not be shut out, but should be brought into a United Front, on a principled basis. He showed how this strategy of the United Front had succeeded inside the IWMA :     The 2nd International was started in 1889 with the direct participation of Engels. This next period was marked by the ideological triumph of Marxism within the Labour and socialist movement. But to battle this, the bourgeoisie continued to refine their counter-attack. This took the form of a corruption of the Marxist ideology by opportunists and hidden revisionists. In his ACritique of The Draft Social Democratic Programme of 1891" of the German party, Engels defined opportunism. He was here criticising the uncritical support given to the bourgeois proposals for protective tariffs by the workers party : AThis forgetting of the great, the principal considerations for the momentary successes of the day, this struggling and striving for the successes of the moment regardless of later consequences, this sacrifice of the future of the movement for its present, may be Ahonestly meant@, but it is and remains opportunism, and Ahonest opportunism@ is perhaps the most dangerous of all@. Engels F; Sep 1891; ACritique of The Draft Social Democratic Programme of 1891"; M&E CW: Vol 27; Moscow 1990; p. 227.      These words were very much to the fore of Engels= mind, now in his seventies. He saw the Trades Unions moving towards a clearer picture of the class struggle. But as they did so, the leaders of the Trades Unions were courted by the bourgeoisie. As Engels and the AMarxists@ prepared the Inaugural Congress of the Second International in Paris on July 14-20 1889 (The centenary of the Storming of the Bastille), they encountered opposition. This came from the opportunism of the so called APOSSIBILISTS@ of France. These Possibilists, as their name implies, were social reformists and allied themselves to the opportunist British SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION (SDF). This was led by HENRY MAYERS HYNDMAN.

    This round was won by the Marxists. Three hundred and ninety-three delegates attended from 20 parties and organisations, whereas the rival congress held by the Possibilists was puny.

    But in Britain, the opportunists under Mr Hyndman had found common ground with the new Labour bureaucrats. They had origins in the old artisan era, not in the modern class system that produced the factories. They preached social moderation and reformism to the workers. They rejected a view of a working class independent resolute action. They were however unable to stop the momentum of truely independent revolutionary Trades Unions. For example the 8 Hour Day Movement led by the British Gas workers, who were inspired by ELEANOR MARX AVELING.

    Britain was a key nation for the international working class movement as both Marx and Engels= explicitly recognised. Disrupting the British workers was a key task for the social reformists and their capitalist leaders. Therefore now the opportunists resorted to confusing the workers by holding an international congress at the very same time as the Marxist International was due to hold its Second international meeting. As Engels remarked, the Marxists had been disorganised :

    Obviously a trap had been set by the opportunists. Now the trick was how to expose the opportunism of Hyndman and the Possibilists. As Engels pointed out :     Therefore under some very clearly defined conditions as suggested by Engels (see Engels Letter to P.Lafargue Sep 2nd 1891; M&E CW: Vol 27; p.233), the joint meeting took place. Engels declared it a success : AWe have every reason to be satisfied with the Brussels Congress.. It was right to vote for the exclusion of the Anarchists... No less important was the way the door was thrown wide open to the English TRADE UNIONS, the step which shows how well the situation had been understood. And the votes which tied the TRADES UNION to Athe class struggle and the abolition of wage labour@ meant that it was not a concession on our part.@
Engels Letter to P.Lafargue Sep 2nd 1891; M&E CW: Vol 27; p.233.
    At the very start of the Second International then, the ideological broader Front of the previous First International was already narrower, by the immediate exclusion of the anarchists and the adoption of the AClass struggle and the abolition of wage labour@.

    There developed an enormous growth of the mass movements. But these mass labour movements were torn between two contending forces. Either the Marxist Internationalists forces led by Engels - or the Trade Union aristocrats who were trying to take control. As yet neither side had ideologically completely won. The Labour Aristocrats had not yet been fully exposed. It is for this reason that Engels insisted on an open discussion. In his Closing speech to the Zurich meeting sponsored by the Socialist Workers Group of Aug 12 1893, he contrasted the First to the Second International :

    But, as is well known the Second International too was dissolved, in 1914, due to the opportunist stand of the Second International on the inter-imperialist First World War. This was Lenin=s assessment of The Second International : "The Second International existed from 1889-1914, up to the war. This was the period of the most calm and peaceful development of capitalism, a period without great evolutions. During this period, the working class movement gained strength and matured.. but the workers leaders had become accustomed to peaceful conditions and had lost the ability to wage a revolutionary struggle. When in 1914, there began the war.. these leaders deserted to their respective governments. They betrayed the workers, they helped to prolong the slaughter, they became the enemies of socialism, they went over to the side of the capitalists."
Lenin V.I.; March 1919: "The Third Communist International"; V.I.L. CW: Vol 29; p. 241.
    The collapse of the Second International reflected the rise of opportunism : "The collapse of the Second International.. signifies the complete victory of opportunism, the transformation of the Social Democratic parties into national-liberal parties, is mainly the result of the entire historical epoch of the Second International - the close of the 19 th Century and the beginning of the 20 th Century. The objective conditions of this epoch - transitional from the consummation of West European bourgeois and national revolutions to the beginnings of socialist revolution - engendered and fostered opportunism.. a split in the working class and socialist movements.. which in the main was a cleavage along the lines of opportunism (Britain, Italy, Holland, Bulgaria and Russia); in other countries we see.. trends along the same line (Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland). The crisis created by the great war has torn away all coverings.. exposed an abscess. and revealed opportunism as the true ally of the bourgeoisie.. In Russia the complete severance of the revolutionary.. proletarian elements from the petty bourgeois opportunist elements has been prepared by the entire history of the working class movement. Those who disregard that history and declaim against "factionalism" ..are) incapable of understanding the real process of formation of a proletarian party.. are rendering that movement the worst possible service." Lenin V.I.; September 1919: "The Collapse of the Second Communist International"; V.I.L. CW: Vol 21; p. 256-258.     The collapse had completed the full exposure of SocialDemocracyy. Now the united Front was even narrower, because it was split into two. On one side was social reformism On the other were the Marxists. The leadership of the latter was won by the Internationalists at Zimmerwald and then passed to the Bolsheviks of the Russian Communists.     The collapse of the Second International created the need for a new International, which was formally founded in 1919, after the Bolshevik Revolution. But in reality the actual founding of the International had been earlier : "The Third International actually emerged in 1918, when the long years of struggle against opportunism and social chauvinism, especially during the war led to the formation of Communist parties in a number of countries. Officially the Third International was founded at the First Congress in March 1919, in Moscow.. the new Third, "International Working Men's Association" has already begun to develop to a certain extent, into a union of Soviet Socialist republics.. The epoch making significance of the Third, Communist International lies in its having begun to give effect to Marx's cardinal slogan, the slogan which sums up the centuries-old development of socialism and the working class movement, the slogan which is expressed in the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat."
Lenin V.I.; April 1919; "The Third International & Its Place in History"; Vol 29; p.306-307.
    In fact even longer before 1918, the need for a new International was recognised. This was the meaning of the formation of the ZIMMERWALD LEFT. Thus even in The Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Parties (RSDLP) Abroad, Lenin had pointed this out in February 1915. Because of the enormous advances made ideologically the new international was immediately at a very much higher level. This was reflected in the more cohesive and narrower nature of its membership. It was now no longer a united Front of Marxists and fellow travellers. It was now fully a COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL (CI), A COMINTERN.

    Undoubtedly the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution made this possible. The Asocial democratic@ conceptions of change were clearly exposed, the demarcation lines were clear. But now the new CI was Ain vogue@. A tendency developed for the old Centrist parties to disguise themselves as Achanged@; and to apply for membership to the CI. The Communists, to maintain the movement=s higher level, insisted on clearer Rules of conduct for parties.

    This was not possible in the previous Internationals, as social opportunism had not been so clearly exposed. Even at the First Inaugural Congress of the CI, there was no insistence upon strict Terms of Admission, as Lenin later admitted. This became necessary as the true Communist parties developed in other countries, and separated away from the Communist Atrends@. As they did this, the Centrists tried to penetrate the movement of the new CI :

    These terms of Admission stressed the nature of Communist - as opposed to centrist and reformist activity. They insisted on the need for the organisations joining the CI to remove ACentrists@ from responsible positions in their apparatuses :     The struggles over the application of these Terms of Admission continued for some time on an open basis, as the social reformists tried to slip into the CI. The Italian and British parties in particular fought against strict Terms, but they were defeated by Lenin=s arguments to the CI.

    But at this moment, just as occurred in the CPSU(B), the open enemies of socialism went underground. This occurred in all the communist parties of the world. This of course was bound to affect the CI itself.

    Both the Communist League and Alliance in previous issues have discussed the various aspects of this including :

Role of the 7 th World Congress of CI in promoting class peace and social reformism (Alliance 4);
Subversion of the correct strategy of revolution in colonial and semi-colonial countries (Alliance number 5);
the subversion of the struggle for the second stage of the revolution in effecting the socialist revolution ( Alliance 12 on Dimitrov in Bulgaria);
the perversion of correct United Front Tactics and the opportunism of the Peoples= Front Governments.
We have also discussed the setting up of the Cominform (Alliance 7).

Here we can only reprise a few key elements of these discussions.

    It must be stressed that a few comrades world wide, have expressed disquiet with these views. If comrades present a reasoned view on scientific grounds, contrary to either CL or Alliance printed views, both organisations must and will regard it as a fraternal duty to objectively evaluate the critique. Both organisations are prepared unemotionally to acknowledge any proven errors in our analysis. But to date only one cogent written and detailed historical reply has been given. This was on the role of Dimitrov, and was replied to in print by the CL. Naturally both organisations - the CL and Alliance Marxist-Leninist (North America) will continue to review their analysis to date, taking into account the factual and detailed evidence that other comrades bring forward.

    That the CI had been penetrated by revisionism, was clearly shown by the manner in which the dissolution of the CI took place.

    It is true that Stalin was elected to be one of the 45 members of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) at its last Congress in August 1935. In fact however he was not elected as one of the 7 members of the Secretariat. This was dominated by hidden revisionists GEORGI DIMITROV, OTTO KUUSINEN, DIMITRY MANUILSKY, ANDRE MARTY, WILHELM PIECK, PALMIRO TOGLIATTI. Stalin=s views on why to dissolve the CI, were not the same as those of the Secretariat . Though when it was moved by the Secretariat he agreed :

    Does this mean that Stalin was of one mind as the Secretariat in this regard? In fact the reasons offered by the secretariat for the dissolution were :

    Firstly that the world situation was too complicated for an international Center to be able to function and such a Center had become a drag on the development of national parties :

ALong before the war, it became more and more clear that, with the increasing complications in the internal and international relations of the various countries, any sort of international Center would encourage insuperable obstacles in solving the problems in facing the movement... The organisational form of the Communist International has .. become a drag on the further strengthening of the national working-class parties.@
Resolution of the ECCI Presidium Recommending the Dissolution of the Communist International (May 1943); In Jane Degras Editor: "Documents of the Communist International'; Volume 3: London; 1965; p. 477.
    Secondly that the political maturity of the national parties and their leaders had made an international center unnecessary. The decision had been made, declared the Presidium of the ECCI : ATaking into account the growth and political maturity of the communist parties and their leading cadres in the separate countries.@
Resolution of the ECCI Presidium Recommending the Dissolution of the Communist International (May 1943); In Jane Degras Editor: "Documents of the Communist International'; Volume 3: London; 1965; p. 477.
    Stalin could not but reject this obviously false analysis. At the same time, as a genuine Marxist-Leninist, he could not oppose the dissolution of the CI as it had become revisionist led. As such it no longer served the interests of the world=s working class. But, he supported the dissolution of the CI, in order to take back the initiative , and to move towards anew organisation that would be led by Marxist-Leninists. This would be the COMMUNIST INFORMATION BUREAU OR THE COMINFORM.

    But as a Marxist-Leninist, he was bound by the principles of DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM. He could NOT therefore directly express the real reasons for his support of the dissolution of the CI. In his reply therefore, Stalin gave four reasons for his support of the Dissolution, but these boil down to one. It would help as the dissolution :

AWill result in a further strengthening of the United Front of the Allies and other united nations in their fight for victory over Hitler-ite tyranny.@
Stalin J.V. "Answer to Reuter's Correspondent, May 1943"; In JVS CW: Vol 15; London; 1984; p.132.
    Stalin was obviously not saying that the dissolution was a concession to the Western imperialist powers. We know that Stalin clearly held that concessions to imperialism which WERE contrary to the interests of the world working class would be impermissible concessions: ASTALIN : America demands that we renounce in principle the policy of supporting the emancipation movement in other countries, and says that if we made this concession everything would go smoothly. Well, what do you say, comrades? Perhaps we should make this concession?
STALIN: We cannot agree to these or similar concession without being false to ourselves.@
Stalin J.V. April 1928; "Report to the Active of the Moscow Organisation of the CPSU(B);"; In JVS CW: Vol 11; Moscow; 1954; p.59-60.
    Stalin accepted the ECCI decision to dissolve recognising that the next step would be to organise a different forum that would take on the hidden revisionists - the Cominform.  4. THE COMINFORM 1947-1956     Alliance has previously discussed the setting up of the Cominform in Alliance 7, June 1994. This reprinted an article of The Communist League entitled AThe Cominform Fights Revisionism@. The Cominform was set up in October 1947 at Szklarska Poreba in Poland. Here we will reprise this previously printed history only very briefly. The Communist Information Bureau was set up by Stalin with the only most trusted Marxist-Leninists he could find. These were ANDREY ZHDANOV AND GEORGI MALENKOV, with:     The question of the leadership of the Cominform leadership is very significant. It is of note that previous leaders of the ECCI such as Dimitrov, were deliberately excluded by Stalin. There is only one explanation, that Stalin had become convinced of their inability, not to say sabotage, in the previous Third International: AAs early as June 1946, Stalin had spoken with Dimitrov and Tito about the need of establishing an Information Bureau.. Rather than simply reviving the Comintern, on which Stalin heaped a torrent of insults and abuse which caused Dimitrov to become alternately pale and flushed with repressed anger@.
Eugenio Reale: "The Founding of the Cominform"; In Milorad M.Drachkovitch & Branko Lazitch (Eds): "The Comintern: Historical Highlights: Essays Recollections & Documents"; Stanford (USA); 196; p. 260.
    The intent of the new body, was to expose the hidden revisionists. Due to the influence of the 7 th World Congress and the so called Popular Front Government, a creeping Parliamentarism had entered the soul of the workers movement. It was essential to re-educate the workers of the pitfalls of this. But to do so, meant exposing the hidden revisionists leaders of especially the European Communist Parties. The first to be exposed were the the revisionist lines of the French and the Italian Communist Parties. This exposure formed the bulk of the First Conference. The criticism was opened by Zhdanov :     The Italians and French were forced to concede errors. They had taken the line of the Parliamentary Road to socialism, after EARL BROWDER but before Khrushchev. They recanted. Both LUIGI LONGO and JACQUES DUCLOS recanted on behalf of their parties. As Duclos said at his final speech : AThere was opportunism, legalitarianism and parliamentary illusions... If we courageously carry out this self-criticism before the party, we shall arouse among the masses a state of mind favourable for the fight. The French people must be mobilised against American imperialism.@
Duclos Jacques; "Statement at Cominform Meeting September 1947"; In Philipp J. Jaffe: "The Rise & Fall of Earl Browder"; in 'Survey' Vol 18, No.12 (Spring) 1972; p.57.
    The Cominform next turned its attention to JOSIP BROZ TITO. As the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) was exposed, another strand of revisionism was purged from the international movement. This was another form of RIGHT REVISIONISM.

    Both the French and the Yugoslav versions of revisionism depend upon clouding the distinction between the First stage of the National Democratic Revolution and the progress to the Second stage ie the Socialist Revolution. This was particularly important at this time as the victory of fascism had created the possibility of moving rapidly from the first stage to the second stage of revolution in a number of countries. Both the Western European CP=s and the CPY refused to do so. After the exposure of the CPY, Stalin was able to pull the Warsaw pact countries towards the Second Stage. Of these other countries, only the Albanian CP had of itself moved to the second stage (See Alliance Issues numbers 10,12, and 18).

    Stalin was progressing to Aclean house@ effectively. Stalin had suggested that the CPY lead the attack against the French and Italians. The CPY had willingly done this, when they attended the First Cominform Congress. But they now balked at the criticisms levelled at them, and they stood on ceremony saying the CPY had full internal autonomy. They rejected the right of the Cominform to criticise them!

    When Stalin died the Khruschevites dissolved the Cominform hastily to re-incorporate the Yugoslav revisionists under Tito. The international Marxist-Leninist movement was then effectively leader-less for a period of time. The movement internationally was hijacked by Khruschevite revisionism. For objective reasons, including the strength of both internal (ie Albanian) and external revisionism, Enver Hoxha was not able to provide a strong enough center to weld the international Marxist-Leninist movement together.

                To Summarise The Work Of the Cominform:

SOME OVERALL CONCLUSIONS FROM THE PREVIOUS INTERNATIONALS     Now, we are left with a number of contending Aisms@. These claim to have either superseded, or to have supplemented Marxism-Leninism. Until they are either exposed or vindicated, we contend that it is not possible to form a Single unitary line in the International Marxist-Leninist movement. We contend that a single line this will require as it did, in the earlier Internationals - the First and the Second - some vigorous discussion first.

    Furthermore, we must have principled discussions about what is the correct line? If the issues arising from basic questions such as the Stages of the Revolution were so important for Stalin to clarify with respect to the French and Italians, and the CPY - why should we not clarify them today with respect to Mao Ze Dong?

    No doubt the practical politics of today, will further, and finally, assist us in sifting the wheat from the chaff over the next years also. 


    We try now to synopsise the wide changes in the world over the last forty years, before we proceed to discuss the many attempts that have been made the world over, of which we are aware, to re-create a new International. This cannot be a full history. It is meant to provide a framework to understand our needs now. We discuss some of the key changes in this order:
    FIRST our own movement,
    SECOND the capitalist developments.



    As discussed above, the heroic struggle of the Soviet peoples in the anti-fascist war liberated the world at the end of the Second World War. Stalin=s tactics had wrested away from the imperialist domination a significant section of both Europe and parts of the East. They were pulled towards socialism. But these positions of command were lost by the revisionists. Other than the USSR itself, only one state would successfully accomplish the transition from the First stage of the National Democratic Revolution to the Second the Socialist stage. This state was Albania.

    But over the past 43 years, the world proletariat has suffered serious defeats. After the death of Stalin, the USSR rapidly fell, to its combined internal, external, open and hidden foes. The world=s communist movement was then splintered into several shards. Trotskyite forces previously defeated in the principled debates by the CPSU(B) led by Stalin, were now assisted by newer forms of open revisionism. The economic restoration of capitalism in the USSR has been described by Bill Bland. (See 1980: "Restoration of Capitalism in The USSR"; Alliance 14 - also now on the web.

    There were two principal theses of the 20 th Party Congress of the CPSU(B) in 1956:

    Firstly, the denigration of the role of Stalin; and,
    Secondly intertwined with this, was the acceptance of the Peaceful Road to Socialism.
    The great majority of the world=s communist parties, would follow Khruschevite revisionism. A few would follow Chinese left revisionism. Only the PARTY OF LABOUR OF ALBANIA (PLA) was to fight consistently against both these major new revisionism. All other major sections of the world=s communist movements fell into opportunism.

    Most communist parties fell into Right revisionism. These parties upheld Khrushchev=s >Secret Speech=. Many of these parties held State governmental power in Europe, in the post war era. Under Stalin=s guidance and pushing, and assisted by the Cominform, they had started to move from the first stage of the socialist revolution (ie The national liberation struggle) to the second stage. But after Stalin=s death, they were encouraged by Khrushchev to halt at the stage of the first revolution. In this they followed the model of Yugoslavia, and Titoite revisionism. This was exposed by the Cominform under Stalin=s leadership as a right deviation in the Communist movement in 1949. But Khrushchev resurrected Tito and Yugoslavia into the Communist movement in 1955. The USSR now became the leader of this Right Revisionist Block. It proceeded to establish relations of a colonial type with those countries where the right revisionists had taken state power.

    Left revisionism also held state power in some countries. Left revisionism in this era, can be characterised as a Revolutionary Nationalism, posing as socialism. This was epitomised best by MAO ZE DONG and MAOISM and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). However others taking this line included Vietnam, North Korea, and later Cuba. For a period of time, the COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA (CPC) took the leadership of this block. Initially it also was pro-Khrushchev, as evidenced by only a vacillating defence of the role of Stalin. This is seen in the centrist articles by the CPC entitled AOn the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat@. However ultimately the interests of the CPC diverged and the CPC attacked Khruschevite revisionism, only to establish its own version of revisionism. Despite the outward form of Aleftism@ the Cuban party diverged from the CPC also. The Cuban party accepted the leadership of the Moscow Right revisionists in exchange for a colonial type aid against the very tangible threat from the nearby USA.

    Only the PLA took a determined and consistently anti-Khrushchev line. In fact, there was left only one socialist state - The Peoples Republic of Socialist Albania (PSRA). The heroic but isolated position of ENVER HOXHA, and the PLA was constantly under threat. Unfortunately, this did lead the PLA for a time into an erroneous alliance with the CPC. Ultimately however, the PLA exposed the CPC for its international crimes against the working class (eg in India, Bangla Desh, Persia/Iran, Chile, Angola etc). Following his death in 1985, imperialism and its internal hidden allies in the guise of Ramiz Alia swooped in. The PRA finally fell to imperialism in 1990. (See Revisionism Raises its Head in Albanis"; Compass Journal of The Communist League (UK); No.79b; August 1990; London.

    All these above processes culminated in the following trends. These were in the main anti-reformism in words. But in practice many of them were aligned with reformist trends internationally, in particular the first trend. These ideologies would contend for the allegiance of honest comrades throughout the world: i) Right pro-revisionist USSR revisionism - appealed to the older communists and the layer of the trade union bureaucracy. Its ideological basis was the peaceful road to socialism; and the recognition of the class character of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact countries as socialist. It was coupled to a denial of the positive role of Stalin in the world=s Marxism-Leninism movement.
    The objective character of these parties was to serve the interests of the new USSR capitalist class. These parties were numerically the strongest faction on the left in most countries of the world. They were also the lowest in theoretical development and the least militant in class struggles, but they found solace in size. Two variants were adopted by the Right revisionists, CASTROISM and GEUVERAISM. These also appealed to activists of generally a low theoretical level of development; attracted by >charisma=. A full critique of these forces is to date only available in CL literature.
(See Communist League: "Cuban Revisionism" Compass No.101; November 1992).
    Internationally it was supported by the revisionist USSR, with abundant resources.

    ii) Trotskyism - appealing to the lowest level of Aanti-bureaucratic@ progressives or socialist layers of the people. It was strongest in metropolitan countries with the notable exception of Sri Lanka. This was because Trotskyism is incapable of solving the peasant question. It is often the first level of entry into the class struggle for petit bourgeois individuals especially students. Because of its inchoate ideological basis, it tends to be the most receptive to the so called ANew Left@, and forms of >spontaneity=. These include those that profess Aanti-leadership Marxism@; Black Power groups; so called anti-Psychiatry groups; so called Radical Feminism, so called Gay Liberationists etc.

    Its ideological basis is TROTSKYISM, - the denial of the role of the peasantry; the denial of the role of the national liberation struggle as the first step in the socialist revolution; and the denial of the possibility of socialism in one country. This meant denial of the fact that the USSR had created socialism. Because Trotsky termed the USSR a Adegenerated workers= state@, some brands of Trotskyism followed Trotsky to the letter, and objectively represented the interests of the Russian capitalist class. This included the followers of ERNEST MANDEL (of the AOfficial@ 4 th International - represented in Britain by the International Marxist Group) . Those that denied Trotsky=s formulation, such as TONY CLIFF (Of the International Socialists now the Socialist Workers Party of the UK), objectively represented the interests of Western capitalism. Many critiques of classical Trotskyism are available  [See Communist League: "Revisionism In Russia Trotsky Against the Bolsheviks Parts 1 & 2"; Reprinted from 1979].
    Thus far there has been no Marxist-Leninist critique of the newer Arevisionist@ Trotskyites.
    Internationally they were supported by the academic bourgeois left and had an international apparatus centred around several quarrelling Trotskyite leaders each of them claiming to be the Atrue@ 4th Communist International.

iii) Maoism; - appealing to militants of primarily petit bourgeois background in many countries (eg Metropolitan countries, India etc); but who were politically at a higher level than Trotskyites, as they correctly assessed the USSR in Stalin=s life as socialist. Often however they were ultra-leftists. During the Vietnam War of liberation against USA imperialism, they often led the Anti-war movement in the metropolitan countries. A reasonably full critique of Maoism is available in the works of Enver Hoxha and also in works by Alliance, CL and MLCP(Turkey).
[See Enver Hoxha: "Imperialism & Revolution"; Selected Works (Hereafter EH SW); Tirnana; Colume V 985; p. 553.
Hoxha E: "Some Preliminary ideas about the Chinese Cultural Proletarian Revolution"; In Volume IV p. 252; EH SW Tirana 1982;
Hoxha E: "Reflections on Cultural Revolution"; In EH SW Vol IV; p. 22;
See Communist League (CL): Combat December 1975: "Cultural Counter Revolution China" Reprint";
Also CL: "The Thought of Mao Tse Tung"; London 1977.
See also Alliance; Communist League & Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkey): "Upon Unity & Ideology. An Open letter to Comrade Ludo Martens"; London 1966]

    Objectively these parties represented the interests of the CPC. Since in the period of >rampant Maoism=, the CPC was transformed into the agency of pro-US comprador Chinese capital, these parties then objectively represented the interests of the USA capitalist class. Internationally these parties were also supported by an elaborate network from the CPC.

iv) Marxism-Leninism. This supported Stalin unequivocally and rejected Maoism, and recognised the value placed by Hoxha on Stalin=s work, and Hoxha=s drive to develop the PRSA into a full socialism.
    Objectively the parties internationally that took this stand represented the interests of the working class and peasantry of the world, led by its vanguard in the sole remaining socialist state - the workers and peasants of Albania. Although after the open exposure of Maoist revisionism by the PLA and Hoxha, the PLA did support certain parties through the world this was not systematic. Moreover it was deliberately not accompanied by moves to a New International. Instead there were Friendship Societies throughout the world. Various parts of the would excelled in this task: Notably Britain, USA, France, Germany and India. However these Friendship societies were not aimed at the formation of a new International.


    After the death of Stalin, the formerly socialist state of the USSR was taken over by the new embryo >Soviet= ruling class capitalists. The capitalists were divided into two opposing groups: capitalists linked to heavy industry; and, a section linked to light industry. In March 1985, Gorbachev as General Secretary; took up a pro-light industry programme. But now, the inter-capitalist struggle took on another dimension - "How much to link with foreign capitalists?" Light entrepreneurs wanted to link with foreign capital, but, heavy industrialists were reluctant, having the former socialist heavy base. Gorbachev proposed a foreign capital penetration headed by the USA; and radical privatization of the economy. The industrialists launched a failed coup in August, which lasted 3 days.

    In December, 1985 the USSR was finally replaced by the so called Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Yeltsin came to power. Yeltsin represents those capitalists inclined towards foreign capital. He is resisted by that section of Russian capital who wish to limit entry of foreign capital into the Russian market. He is resisted by Zhuganov. Zhuganov is the representative of the heavy industrial based, national capitalist class. They are the most against making linkages with foreign capital. Yeltsin is the representative of the light industrial capitalist class who interested in links with foreign capital. The destruction of the USSR formally ended the pretence of the Right revisionists to any claim to socialism. In the few Warsaw Pact countries still not openly adopting capitalism, a crisis ensued. But most had already concluded that capitalism in these economies now needed an open market for full and further development.

    In the world communist movement these events had enormous repercussions as many honest comrades in the right revisionist parties grappled with reality. Many could not take the inevitable but belated conclusion, that they had been lied to for years. Many left the progressive movement. Those that stood self-analysis with honesty, were left without any party anchorage. The net result was the total eclipse of the Right revisionist parties. Many of these dissolved, and a new Centrist revisionism arose from the members of these parties.

    This all left an enormous vacuum for many honest comrades, because their political level was not yet at a Marxist-Leninist level. This is seen inside the former USSR itself. There utter confusion reigns with Acommunist parties@ numbering in excess of 100 in the Russian republic alone. In other countries, usually no party claiming to be communist has yet been able to absorb these comrades.


    The launching of the Chinese so called AGREAT PROLETARIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION@, in 1966, led to enormous confusion. Mao launched this struggle within an inner party battle aimed to seize control of the Chinese state for the pro Chinese comprador bourgeoisie. This was aimed at the National bourgeoisie of China led by Liu Shao Chi. Mao=s strategy was to destroy his opposition by destroying the CPC itself, using the Army. This anti-Party view of Mao became apparent. This blatant act shocked some Marxist-Leninists. Nonetheless Maoism world wide largely retained its following. As stated above it appealed to the petit bourgeoisie. With its overt ALeftist@ face (Destroy the party bureaucrats etc@) it often attracted young, and very militant elements. But the incorrect influence of Mao Tse Tung Thought@; would often physically eliminate this revolutionary cadre. As in the leftist Individual Terrorism attacks in the Indian state. After the death of Mao, the CPC fell more blatantly into anti-revolutionary behaviour and shed the former Leftist trappings. As it did so, it embraced more openly capitalist that was previously hidden as being progressive Anational capital@ in the progressive Anew Democratic State@.

    Very few parties and groups in the world were able to openly assess Maoism in 1968 -70. Amongst the few who warned early on about the true nature of Maoism, were the >Communist League= led by Bill Bland (UK); and the >Proletarian Path= led by Moni Guha (India), Centre d=Etude Sur Le Mouvement Ouvrier et Paysan International (CEMOPI) led by Patrick Kessels (France ). Even the PLA had not at that stage openly attacked Maoism. It is known that Hoxha had serious reservations about the CPC. The conclusion must be drawn that the correct Marxist-Leninist leadership of the PLA was hampered by an internal hidden revisionist element. When the PLA openly attacked Chinese revisionism, some erst while Maoist parties did repudiate Maoism. However a far more common reaction was for the Maoist parties to attack Hoxha and the PLA. Even those parties that aligned themselves with the PLA, not all would formally carry out a self-criticism of their Maoist past, indicating that these parties had not fully yet shed Maoist opportunism.

    There are still several significant parties that are un-repentant Maoists. These include several European parties, in the main led by the Parti du Travail (PTB) (Belgium). In the rest of the world, they remain a potent force in several colonial type countries like India, and various parts of South America including Peru.

    Since the death of Mao, the PRC no longer is a state representing the comprador capitalist class. Thus what do these parties represent? Objectively they are often dominated by the urban petit-bourgeoisie and they represent the capitalist class of their own countries. They do that because they place emphasis on the peasantry, they rely on the tactics of the encirclement of the city; they incorporate forms of individual terrorism, and they deny the primary role of the working class. They therefore disrupt the socialist struggle. Despite this, they contain many honest and sincere elements that must be won over by the Marxist-Leninist movement.


    Among the few states that still claim to be >socialist= are North Korea and to a limited extent Cuba. But both are suffering a severe economic crisis. The former has been unable to build the industrial base and its agriculture is on weak ground. Its development was possible only with the support of the CPC, and was dependent upon a brutal suppression of the workers and peasants. Cuba was totally dependent upon the USSR, and is also in a severe economic crisis. Both of these countries were nothing more than states ruled by national capitalist. But they were both relatively weak national capitalists and were thus unable to maintain themselves without external support.

    The North Koreans relied on the CPC. The Cubans relied on the USSR. Neither established socialism. Both still have supporters claiming either or both to be Asocialist@.The credibility of these claims is daily eroding, as both counties make overtures to various of several capitalist countries. North Korea is currently begging for food aid to avert mass famine. Those that still proclaim these countries as being socialist are put under great, and expanding pressures to explain their current economic problems. Objectively the parties that claim these countries as socialist represent the interests of the capitalists in each of the countries they are organised. This because they continue to obscure the question AWhat is Socialism?@

    In conclusion, the forces of progressives have been splintered by the successes of the bourgeoisie in penetrating the workers and peasants parties and their states. With Bakunin=s pioneering example they set out to confuse the workers with their disguised versions of the Red Flag. These draped the facade of states that duped the peoples. Since these states were pseudo-socialist, and not truely socialist however, they were subject tot the fores of the international crisis of capitalism. As such they have disintegrated one by one, and their Red Facades are very faint if visible at all.

    In the midst of this confusion, the Marxist-Leninist forces have been small. Objectively they were unable to grow until the Red Facades were tron away. In truth, this was done by objective circumstances, and not by the subjective force of the Marxist-Leninists themselves.

    Nonetheless, the Red Facades are torn away. But the previous 30 years have left the forces of progressives fragmented and ideologically still at odds. Even significant sections of the Marxist-Leninists forces are ideologically confused and most are very small.

    We have now dealt with the forces that either claim to be, or are actually in fact, on our side. We will now deal with the forces arraigned overtly against us - those of one social reformism and Capitalist-imperialism. There have been many changes in their positions also over the last 40 odd years. But Lenin and Stalin=s analysis still holds true in the main. Even that regarding the welding of finance capital and industrial capital into imperialist capital. But some new features have entered, that demand an urgent detailed analysis, to be performed over the next years. In addition there are some major new technological developments. These exacerbate inter-imperialist rivalry. All developments only enhance the importance of Stalin=s warning, that there will be a new inter-imperialist war.


    The initial post Second World war period allowed a little breathing room for imperialism, through several mechanisms. One was the development of new markets following the destruction of the war. Simple re-equipping was necessary, which at first relieved the excess market capacity. The destruction of the competitors of Japan and Germany allowed the newly dominant USA to take their markets. The vehicle for this was the MARSHALL PLAN in Europe; and McArthur=s Occupation in Japan. The other competitors of the USA such as Britain and the other European were countries momentarily overtaken. This meant that in particular USA imperialism was able to dominate the world scene.

    But opposing the USA, and posing a grave negative threat to imperialism, was the sudden rise of the Socialist bloc led by the USSR. Under Stalin and Molotov, the Marshall Plan was rejected by the Warsaw Pact which instead developed towards socialism. The Cominform played a crucial role here. This obstructed a significant market for imperialism. Moreover it threatened imperialism=s own survival, because the USSR acted as an example to the world=s workers.

    The bourgeoisies of the metropolitan countries were thus forced to give some benefits to their workers. Thus arose the so called WELFARE STATE. This was nothing more than concessions forced by the militancy of the workers. Health care, social welfare rights including unemployment insurance, educational rights for children free at the point of access, etc were adopted by the vast majority of Western metropolitan countries where there was a significant workers movement. Because the USA had been so deeply penetrated by opportunism and the labour trade unions had been corrupted for so long, this never even occurred there.

    There was a cruder reason to adopt a Welfare State. It was realised by the most astute of the ruling class, that they had somehow to deflect the organised workers. They reasoned as follows: If indeed the workers were unemployed due to the constant boom-slump cycles, then the unemployed could not buy the goods being produced.

    Therefore in an attempt to smooth the Acrisis curves@ Keynes proposed that deficit financing should be more widely used. This would reduce unemployment enabling the workers t buy goods. But by deficit financing the State to Aafford it@; without taking profits from the capitalists! Thus began the cycle of printing money and thereby causing inflation. The benefit was the lower rate of unemployment, at minimal cost to the profits of the capitalists.

    Eventually this Keynesian inflationary spiral led to further problems for the ruling class. This was the rise of costs associated with the inflation. If money (ie cash, loans for development, banking notes, credit etc) was cheap, then prices in the market place were high for all goods, including industrial goods. This was good for industrial and production capitalist. But that section of capital that had profits from the money markets and the banks (ie. finance capital), received a lower rate of return because money was cheap.

    Exacerbating all this was the Universal operation of the tendency of the Fall in the rate of Capitalist Profit. This was relentlessly operating. (For further details See Alliance 3).

    To counteract this, Friedmanite economics was proposed. This turned off the money pump, and did indeed lower the rate of inflation. This enormously elevated the profits of the finance capitalist. But now this was cutting profit for the industrialists. This was because the cost of money and credit was so high, with very high interest rates. If interest rates were high the finance capitalist was happy with higher profits. But the cost to the industrialist was cutting into their profit margins. This led to a great reduction in the industrial base and the resistance of industrial capital. An erosion of the alliance between the industrialist and the finance capitalist had become evident.

    The continuing trend in most countries is to attempt to choke off the money supply. This has led to an enormous resurgence of the class struggle in the working class movements of so called Welfare States. These states had apparently had class peace for some years. But they are now in serious conflict and struggle.


    Given the uneven development of capitalism, it was inevitable that the other countries would try and catch up to the USA. This process began in the 60's, and increasing pressure was put on the USA to maintain its lead. The top competitors were again Germany and Japan. By now both the UK and France, had become second class imperialist states.

    Rapidly the market became further glutted again in the 60's, and the situation became serious. By now the devastation of the previous competitors of the USA was over. In fact because all these physically devastates countries had had to re-tool and build from scratch once more, they were actually better off than the USA. Western European, especially German industries; and Eastern industries, especially Japan were full of new Factories and not old stock like in the USA. Old obsolete technology had been replaced by new state of the art technology. They re-entered the chase for markets.

    There was also a new phenomenon whereby the former semi-colonies were now to an extent industrialised. The imperialist nation took a policy in the intervening years to industrialise some of these countries. By shifting their production to these countries the imperialist bourgeoisie could off set the high wage bills in the home metropolitan countries. This had led to the so called AASIAN TIGERS@. In the main these countries were under the control of the imperialists. These set the Atiger@ countries on an industrial footing, but ensured they were in a totally dependent position on the imperialist home country. But occasionally these states fell into the hands of a national bourgeoisie that challenged the imperialist home nations, such as for instance in South Korea.

    The market became even more glutted with excess goods. It then became necessary to create international committees to arbitrate the trade disputes that were erupting. Initially these were set up to enforce USA domination post Second World War. But this domination was challenged by the competitor imperialist nations. As part of this challenge, all nations tried to retain their own market by other means, by forming huge protected rings. Thus the rise of the so called Common Market Policies. This is the intent behind the giant blocks of the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (EEC); THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE ACT (NAFTA); THE SOUTH EAST ASIAN BLOC (ASEAN).

    We are now in an era of open jousting between the major blocks. This will inevitably lead to further confrontation that will end in a new world war. Because the conflicts for markets cannot be resolved peacefully, the imperialist nations are not willing and cannot by the logic of capitalism - give up market share.

    The pace of technology improvements exacerbated the two trends noted above.
    It exacerbated the problems for finance capital by the proliferation of computer technology allowing for rapid trading of currency around the world within seconds. This is the so called Aglobalization@ of the world=s economy. In addition there has been an invention of new and more complicated forms of credit. This led to an even more abstract isolation from a Amaterial or real@ basis than had occurred for any forms of money in history before.
    Computerisation also directly affected the industrial arm of capital, by the advent of so called Computer Assisted Production. Now factories are fully run by computers and this leads to a Taylor-ism of proportions that did not exist in Lenin=s time. It has also cut the production time down, and thus in turn further exacerbates the dramatic glut of goods. In turn this has led to redundancies in the work force. This further leads to an inability to sell goods, as unemployed workers cannot afford any.
    Marx=s view that under capitalism, society=s technical advances will only exacerbate problems, and can not lead to societal benefit, is manifestly truer now than ever before.     Reformism depends to a large extent on crumbs thrown from the rich table of the Capitalists. In the West this reached its peak with the Welfare State. But due to the falling rate of profit, the capitalist class has been cutting back the Welfare State. This has to some extent fuelled the class awareness of the proletariat in these metropolitan countries that they have to take militant stands. This has led to a resurgence of traditional means of political activity inducing the General Strike (As in France) and large scale strikes in Canada. But the great problem is that the workers are left at the moment to the leadership of the reformist trade unions and the social reformist Social Democratic parties.
    These reformist parties have held state power in many of these countries. Either they failed to prevent cut backs in workers living conditions; or worse, actually participated in cutting back the workers living conditions - they have lost credibility. They have therefore tried to present a new face. This includes attempts like those of Arthur Scargill in the UK, to form new parties. But so far, they have not been very successful at stemming the new rising tide of working class militancy. For decades reformism has been triumphant. But it has a very eroded base now. Where workers still vote in parliamentary democratic countries for social democrats, it is because there is no alternative, and the votes are often cynically cast. Dramatically ow voter turn outs at elections shows the working class have realised the limits of Parliamentarism.
    In the camp of the reformers are many honest militants and workers who can be won to the revolutionary movement. Unfortunately to win them is difficult in the absence of a mass base. This in turn is dependent upon the building of a Marxist-Leninist party in each country.
    In the reformist camp must also be placed many of the progressive movement that have arisen. These include the movements centring on the environmental, and women=s rights, and various black groups. These have formed the core of the so called NEW LEFT. Many of these elements can be won to the revolutionary camp also. Again this will require the building of the party first.
    In Conclusion there is a serious drift towards a new inter-imperialist world war. The foes of capitalism and their allies in the socialist reformist camp are not as yet confronted by a determined world organisation of the working class that can turn the coming war into revolution. This is an urgent task. 
    What movements have attempted in some way to unite the world=s forces of communists and Marxist-Leninists? We discuss only those within the Marxist-Leninist, but anti-Trotskyite tradition.     Many Right revisionist parties openly dissolved themselves even before the USSR was itself formally dissolved by Gorbachev. The members of these former parties were usually confused and many just gave up. In Toronto another approach took place. Under the determined leadership of MICHAEL LUCAS, a new journal was set up in August 1992.

    From the beginning this had an amazing and galvanizing effect upon the international movement. Lucas had significant linguistic skills. These enabled him to be a unique source of information on the underground movement erupting in the former USSR. Because he was translating from the original Russian journals, the NSC became a unique source of information. This was recognized at an international level. Often when posted back to the USSR, the NSC became the only source of what was happening in the USSR itself. It enjoyed from the beginning of many different parties and groups in the former USSR.

    Initially the Editorial board and readership was almost wholly composed of former right revisionists. Many of these began to realize that repudiation of Gorbachev actually meant also, a repudiation of Khrushchev. Those that could not accept this, mostly left the NSC collective. But another source of confusion was and is, the role of the NSC. The fulcrum of the NSC is a non-sectarian friendship association for the former Soviet Peoples, and a source of unique information to the world about the socialist movement in the former USSR. It cannot be a the germ of the new International. Its editorial board have explicitly accepted that. But its board has expressed itself in favour of a non-sectarian international movement aimed at forming in due course, the new international.

    This was formed in Moscow by members of THE RUSSIAN COMMUNIST WORKER PARTY led by VICTOR ANPILOV. It engaged in United Front work with others, especially members of the ALL UNION COMMUNIST PARTY (B) LED BY NINA ANDREYEVA. Despite great difficulty in practical matters and financing, this organization made contact with many groups abroad (See Communist League: Compass reprint of  Bulletin; Moscow 9.1.93; Compass edition of November 1993).
    They began distributing a newsletter. Latterly this has not been so available. To some extent their role was superseded by the advent of the North Star Compass. Practical difficulties of finance and distribution have limited its role recently too.

    This organization reached a peak with the AStalin Today Seminar@ - an international meeting to honor Stalin. It=s importance should not be under-estimated. It set out various facts that are important in revealing real history, rebutting lies about Stalin. But the meeting was purely of a theoretical nature. It set no agenda for any further meetings or for organizing practical works. It had not set itself the tasks of an on-going agenda, further meetings or of a journal. It unfortunately therefore had a partly academic approach to the question.

    Nonetheless there were some practical resolutions adopted and these are in the appendix. These important resolutions were on the importance of a defense of Stalin; and on the need to fight for the release of Communists imprisoned throughout the world; and on the revolutionary struggle in Kurdistan; which have been more widely distributed. Unfortunately the proceedings have only been published fully in English , as far as is known to Alliance, and in only one forum
(See Alliance Issues 10 and 11).
    Regrettably this has further limited the impact of the Seminar. Plans to fully publish them in Russian are on going, but are hampered by cost and time of translation.

    Nonetheless, it was an important significant event because it marked the first consciously International Marxist-Leninist meeting to be held on the soil of the former USSR. It moreover focused on the most key figure of the 20 th Century - Stalin - and thereby revealed important data that the movement world wide should become far more aware of.

    The Anti-Imperialist Convention was also not held specifically to organise international Marxist-Leninist forces. The papers of the Calcutta meeting has been fully published, and also a ADeclaration@. This characterizes Korea as @socialist@ (p. 3); as well as Cuba (p.14); and states that even now there are remaining Asocialist countries@, though it does not identify all of them (p.11). Unfortunately, it does not fully spell out what constituted the: APowerful world socialist camp that played a significant role in the non-aligned movement of the newly independent countries .. in the post-second world war@ ,
Declaration Anti-Imperialist Convention, November 1995; Ibid; p.10-11.

Or when the Soviet Union stopped being socialist.

    There are several such meetings of which we are aware of that need to be considered. In chronological order these are :     Judging from the signatories there appears to be a pattern.
    Meetings one and 3 appear to form one bloc; while in the main 2 and 4 appear to form another block. It should be noted that several signatories of the 2 blocks attended or actually co-signed both blocks. Meetings 5 and 6 appear to be quite different. We will discuss the Quito block first.

     Meetings of AEurope@ Nov, 1993; and Quito; a Pro-Albanian block.

    This block unequivocally upholds the PLA as having been a socialist party and the PRSA as a socialist state. As such it has on the face of it a leading role in the formation of a Marxism-Leninist international. That this is the goal of the groups is made quite explicit:

AWe invite other Marxism-Leninist parties and organisations which for various reasons are absent from this meeting, to take part in this world and to join with us soon for a general conference of the Marxism-Leninist international communist movement@.
Reprinted Communist League International Supplement March 1994; p.2.
See Appendix to this Issue Alliance 19.
    Later the Quito meeting of August 1994 proclaimed the ACommunist Call to the Workers and Peoples@, which has been published in a journal :@Unity and Struggle- Organ of the International Conference of Marxism-Leninist parties and Organisations@, July 1995. In the Quito Declaration it is stated that :         Furthermore it is stated that : AIt is in our higher interest to reach a broad distribution and the review in each country. We also want to express our appeal to join in this activity and to support our proclamation at the conference to all Marxism-Leninist parties and organization which have not so far participated in it so far.@
"Communist Call"; In "Unity & Struggle"; July 1995; p.5; Printed August 1995; re-printed in Appendix to this issue Alliance 19.
    We find all this very encouraging. Nonetheless, there are some rather disturbing features.
    These are the odd refusal to invite other well known pro-Albanian groups to discuss the way forward. On paper it appears there are open overtures to other groups. But in reality it appears these meeting are held in secret and then a Apost-facto Proclamation@ is issued ATo Unite@. It is simply scandalous for example that neither the Communist League (UK); nor CEMOPI ( France); nor the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkey) were invited to take part in these forums. Other groups in other countries were also doubtless excluded. Why not? This behavior belies the words. It betokens a sectarian reality that is in opposition to the correct sounding words.

    One further point should be made to these comrades. If at the current stage there is confusion about the role of Mao Ze Dong in many people=s minds, how is it proposed to overcome this? Perhaps you feel these comrades are to be written off as worthless? We feel this is premature and very unwise. The time will come when some (we stress NOT all) such people are unable to be convinced, but is it true that this time is now? We do not think so. A principled debate with some convinced Maoists is still possible. We have attempted this in our AOpen Letter to Comrade Ludo Martens@. Let us see what transpires over the next few years.

    We hope these comrades will not take it amiss if we point out that Engels said :

    The Pyongyang Declaration was perhaps the first swallow of the new summer of the international meeting and declarations. As such it is doubly important. It contains a simple message - that of the need for unity and the need for socialism (See appendix). No one who is a Marxist-Leninist will disagree with that. Unfortunately it is totally sparse about the details as to how to achieve this. For example it states that : AEach party should work out lines and policies which tally with the actual situation of the country where it is active and with the needs of its people and implement them by relying on the popular masses.@     But there are four parties from Russian that signed this; four from Nepal; two from Denmark; three from Dominica etc. Moreover many parties signing this are well aware that there are many other groups and parties that exist in their own countries. Are all these parties separate for no special reason? Are there no ideological differences between them? Is ideology completely irrelevant? It would appear that this may be the case. What else can explain the statement in the AProposition For the Unity of The International Communist Movement@ of the Parti Du Travail Belgique (PTB) that :     But even if so, HOW can they be Aovercome@? In the forerunner to this statement on AUnity@, in May 1994 the PTB had stated that : AWe communists.. have to accept that some disagreements may exist for a long time, to accept criticism and counter-criticism and to preserve unity..we favor a formula of meetings without exclusions where Marxism-Leninist parties traditionally divided into pro-Russian, pro-Chinese, Pro-Albanian, pro-Cuban or independent can find each other. There should be a central initiative a realistic unitary initiative adapted to the present reality, which guarantees optimal results.@
May 1994; Also in The Appendix to Alliance 19 ie this issue.
    This seems to us a problem in several ways. Firstly it minimizes the importance of theoretical differences. On these great historical debates of yesteryears, it is proposed to draw a veil ( Let us be discreet!) But these debates are our points of clarification. It is true that we must not be dogmatic. But we cannot simply ignore these fundamental questions. Questions such as :     We do not have an unacknowledged successor to Lenin and Stalin in our midst - despite views to the contrary! In the circumstances who can decide these questions? No single party or person can claim any monopoly of the ATruth@ nowadays. We are not religious freaks, but Marxism-Leninist scientists and activists. As such we can only answer these questions on the basis of an open and vigorous debate.
    The Brussels-ists and the Pyongyang-ists have so far flinched from debate. Preferring instead the warmth and friendly bonhomie of a supposed Aunity@. But how deep can such unity between pro-Hoxha-ites and pro-Maoists be, let alone between any of them and pro-Castroites?! It is only the unity of a broad front and not the unity aimed at a Marxism-Leninist movement.

    Unfortunately in the real world, some views are RIGHT and some are WRONG! Marxist-Leninists are not idealists who cloud our differences in a miasma of GOODWILL. We do wish goodwill to all progressives, but we insist on a determined search for the origins of revisionism. Only with this can we build a real Aunity of the international Communist Movement@.

    That this was a contentious call even in the ranks of the signatories of Brussels is revealed by an examination of the papers delivered there. For example the Socialist Unity Center of India (SUCHI) paper states that :

AWe cannot agree to anyhow patch up our differences in name of achieving unity. Doubtless it will take time to sort out the ideological differences. Taking a middle course will only defeat the purpose.@
See SUCHI Document reprinted here in our Appendix; p.4.
    The SUCHI then says that: ABut Communist unity can only be taken to means unity of genuine communists and NOT unity of all and sundry going by the name of communist. It entails that we rely not really on a significant representation of Marxism-Leninist trends, but truly on a common Marxism-Leninist concept and avoid short cuts to patch work.@
See SUCHI Document reprinted here in our Appendix; p.4.
    Of course SUCHI is no doubt about the genuine Marxism-Leninist, because it asserts : A6. In the present international situation there remains still now 4 socialist states namely China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba. After the counter revolution in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist states one could expect socialist China to fill in the void. But from China under the revisionist leadership of Deng Xiaoping it would be wrong to expect that .. In spite of this, the class character of the state as well as state relations and motive force of production in China is in the main socialist.@
See SUCHI Document reprinted here in our Appendix; p.4.
    But what evidence is there to justify the SUCHI conclusion?
    This is not presented, and in truth in the confines of the Brussels meeting, this was not even expected to be proved! (See article in the Appendix to this Issue, From the Communist League). Nonetheless the SUCHI do initially state their case firmly. That is they do have an ideological position and this is put. No beating about the bushes! But then they draw their horns in and draw an odd conclusion, not to be vocal about their differences! :         So do the Communist Party of the Philippines put a firm line : "It is our view that the PTB will be putting at risk the broadness of participation (of parties and organisations) if the participants of the seminar reject as splittist some other groups of parties and organs that distinctly adhere to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Ze Dong Thought. There is the attempt to persuade the seminar participants that Mao Ze Dong Thought itself is splittist and that Mao criticized and opposed Stalin from the point of view of a petty-bourgeois nationalist and a rich peasant, a Titoite a bourgeois nationalist and a Bukharinite.@
Paper of the CP Philipines to Brussels Meeting; p.1; Also in Our Appendix to Alliance 19:
    We fully applaud stands such as these because they do call a spade a spade. They recognise the seriousness of the issue at hand - to help us distinguish :     We disagree about the conclusions of the SUCHI and the CPP regarding Mao, but their view is at least clear.
    We ask them :     We applaud the firmness, and suggest that they must accept that it is not good enough to simply be firm but to fully substantiate their line. We suggest to the SUCHI that these points of difference must be tackled energetically but in a principled manner. This is the meaning of Lenin=s stipulations on lines of demarcation:     But we note another stand at the meeting. This was more confused, but may unwittingly reveal the real drift of the Brussels and Pyongyang initiatives. This is to down peddle the need for active discussion on the highest theoretical levels. A sense of this may come from the end of the SUCHI document, which contradicts the vigorous forthright tone of the rest of the article.

    But it is another group puts a different spin on the problem, one that reveals the very mortal danger at the heart of this Abonhomie@. This puts the argument that only the Amasses will decide@ who is right or who is wrong. This is TAILISM - intentional or not - and is expressed by the KPD-KAZ fraktion :

AIt is primarily the progress of the international revolution of the working class to tell us who is right ro wrong. As it was the progress of the struggle of the ACommune de Paris@ that destroyed the false opinions of Blanqui and Proudhon within the hands of the revolutionaries. That is why we should not judge parties first to their opinions about the Communist Party China or comrade Mao Ze Dong, about the CPSU or Comrade Staline. We will have to judge them to the conclusions they come to concerning the victory of the dictatorship of the working class in their country,.. We will have to see if they drew lessons from the work of such important communists like Comrade Stalin and Comrade Mao Ze Dong and if they take this work as a basis for their communist revolutionary action@.
Arbeiterbund fur den Wiederaufbauder KPD KAZ fraktion;Munich April 1995.
    But comrades of the KPD-KAZ, we will reply that Marx and Engels did not simply say :     In any case, again in this block, as with the European and Quito Block, it is the same with the Pyongyang and Brussels block. That is both say that they are both supposedly AOpen@ to a full discussion. But in reality something else appears to be happening!

    In fact when at Brussels, Comrade Bland of the Communist League (CL; UK) was denied the right to speak at Brussels (in contrast to a specified delegate invitation he had received), this points to a problem. Comrade Bland had wanted to point out a basic inconsistency of the APropositions@.
[See Appendix for Communist League Statement on this]. This basic inconsistency was that while in parts the document referred to legitimate points of view, in other parts it elevated Mao Ze Dong to equivalence with Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Presumably knowing Balnd's views, the organisers of the meeting denied bland the right ot speak. This is not an "Open process". It IS NOT a Marxist-Leninist way to settle ideological differences.
    That is why the CL and Alliance and MLCP (Turkey) have jointly put an AOpen Letter to Ludo Martens@. To conclude we can only comment that the attitude of the AUnity@ is in reality to stifle debate and to simply create a new exclusively Maoist International. We thus agree with the comments of the MLCP (See Appendix). We look to the Brussels and Pyong-yangists to prove us wrong. We hope we are wrong.

    It reflects the subjective urge of many militants and Marxist-Leninists that the establishment of the next International was proclaimed! By now it will come as no surprise to readers that this was a call that was premature. Further compounding the difficulty of an ardent proclamation is that it was proclaimed only by 3 parties. This was in retrospect clearly subjective wishing. To their credit, these parties have retracted, and some have aligned themselves with the Ischia initiative.

    Ischia Meeting November 1995

    The last meeting to be discussed is that of Ischia. Under the aegis of AL=Uguaglianza@
a commeration of Frederick Engels= centenary of death, was held near Naples in Ischia, Italy. It was suggested by several groups to L=Uguaglianza, that it consider this as a launching pad for a new Marxist-Leninist journal. Consequently the 10 groups that took part, agreed after much discussion to establish such a journal, by a marked majority. It is noteworthy that the lines of dissent from this  finally successful majoirty vote, parallel the lines taken in both Bruseels and Quito in a remarkable manner. The lines of dissent from this main agreement were as follows :

    The First Line of Dissent Seemed to Parallel the Brussels-Pyongyang approach.  Namely that it was incorrect to conduct debates that questioned any of the many strands in the international Marxist-Leninist movement, that no one had any right to do so. This viewpoint was defeated pointing out that without principled scientific criticism and right of reply, the Marxist-Leninist movement becomes simply a religious viewpoint.

    The Second Line of Dissent Seemed to Parallel the Quito approach - Namely that there needed to be a single unitary line at this moment for the International. This viewpoint was argued against by the majority of the meeting who pointed out that many honest comrades are in disagreement about certain issues. This did not however make them into enemies of Marxism-Leninism.

        What Points of Difference Are there then, Between Ischia and Quito, or Ischia and Brussels-Pyongyang?

    An editorial board was elected whose mandate is to ensure that each Marxist-Leninist group - that is those groups who view themselves as such - will receive the Editorial Principles and the Announcement of the journal. As yet they are still in the final stages, but the major agreements have been achieved. They are thus appended to this document. There may still be minor changes, but the thrust as can be seen is to a forum for principled debate and counter-debate. The editors are mandated to bring together many groups to debate these issues.

It is this initiative that ALLIANCE MARXIST-LENINIST (NORTH AMERICA) supports.

    This document tries to bring together a coherent view of why it is that we are fragmented. Because we are so fragmented, we need to have clear points of discussion. We need principled guidelines for discussion. Discussion cannot be loose, or at the level of name calling. Discussions of Marxist-Leninist in the past have been trenchant (This is no social soiree we are at!) But they have been based on factual, scientifically reasoned evidence. What is the evidence to state that Hoxha was a great Marxist-Leninist? Those that have the temerity to state that should make their case! The same for those who state that Mao was a great Marxist-Leninist!
           Any one else to be put up on the podium in front of us needs to be rigorously justified!
    The only forum that at the moment we must create is one where everyone in a Marxist-Leninist party can have the right to have their party=s views heard in this debate. Any sectarian journals that limit the scope of discussion to exclude Marxist-Leninist views is only that - sectarian. At this time, we need to ideologically clean house. We must re-claim our own history, or the bourgeoisie will happily constantly re-feed us a bowdlerised version of it!

    The example of Engels now who called for OPENNESS in discussion is appropriate. We do not have a single line and cannot have one till more principled debates take place.


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