Friday, June 6, 2008

A Vanguard Marxist-Leninist Communist Party

Comrades, Brothers and Sisters,

Revisionism denies both the revolutionary character of and the leading (vanguard) role of the Marxist-Leninist Party. I apologize, my friends, for the long piece, but I realize that this Marxist-Leninist information is not widely available. Please try to read the italicized sections if you study nothing else.

The first section will share information from Otto Kuusinen’s book Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism on the revolutionary character of a Marxist-Leninist Party while the second part of this post will focus on the Communist Party as the vanguard of the working class, i.e., its advanced, class-conscious part, capable of leading the masses in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the building of socialism.


"Of all the organizations created by the working class, only a political party can give proper expression to the basic interests of the working class and lead it to victory. With the aid of trade unions, mutual aid societies and other similar organizations alone the workers will never be able to put an end to capitalism and build a socialist society. For this the workers need an organization of a higher type, an organization that does not confine itself to the struggle for the satisfaction of the current needs of the working people but aims at bringing the working class to power in order to effect a revolutionary transformation of society. Such an organization is the Communist Party. V.I. Lenin wrote that: ’ order that the bulk of a certain class may learn to understand its interests and its position, in order that it may learn to pursue its own policies, requires precisely that the advanced elements of this class should be organized immediately and at all costs even if these elements at first constitute a negligible part of the class.’ (Lenin, "Works," Vol. 19, 4th Russian Edition)

"As long as the working class wages only an economic struggle, the bourgeoisie does not see any great danger in that for itself; but when the working class organizes politically, i.e. creates a political party which expresses its will as a class, the bourgeoisie begins seriously to fear for its rule. That is why reaction deals its main blows against the political party of the working class. At the same time, trying to undermine the Party from within, capitalist propaganda endeavors to persuade the workers that they can do without their own party...

"...V.I. Lenin wrote: ’Only a political party of the working class, i.e., a Communist party, is capable of uniting, educating and organizing such a vanguard of the proletariat and the whole mass of working people, a vanguard which alone is able to resist the inevitable petty-bourgeois vacillations of this mass, the inevitable traditions and relapses of trade-union narrowness or trade-unionist prejudices amidst the proletariat, i.e., to lead the proletariat politically and through it to lead all the masses of the working people.’ (Lenin, "Works," Vol. 32, 4th Russian Edition)

"However, not every political party claiming the leadership of the working class is capable of accomplishing this task. This is evident from the experience of the Social-Democratic Parties of the Second International. Acting through the opportunist leaders of Social-Democracy, the bourgeoisie was able to a considerable extent to bring these parties under its influence, to ’tame’ them and make them barely indistinguishable from the usual bourgeois parliamentary opposition. As a result, the Social-Democratic Parties, which at first raised high hopes in the working class, lost their ability to organize and lead the working class movement. This was particularly evident when all the social contradictions engendered by the epoch of imperialism became extremely aggravated.

"Objective reality and the interests of the proletariat made the creation of working-class parties of a new type a matter of imperative necessity.

"The first such party was successfully built in Russia, where the imperialist contradictions were particularly sharp. At the end of the 1890s, V.I. Lenin raised the banner of struggle against opportunism in the ranks of Social-Democracy. This struggle set an example for the revolutionary movement throughout the world...

"...The main thing that characterizes the parties of the new type is their irreconcilability to capitalism. The Communists are waging an active struggle for its abolition, for a revolutionary transformation of capitalist society, for they hold that only the taking of political power by the working class and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat are essential conditions for this transformation. Hence the intolerance displayed by Communists for all forms of opportunism, which in practice signifies adaptation to capitalism.

"The Communist Parties do not act blindly, groping in the dark, but...(must be)...guided by the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism which scientifically expresses the fundamental interests of the working class. The Party is a voluntary union of like-minded persons for the purpose of applying the Marxist world outlook and carrying out the historic mission of the working class." (Otto Kuusinen, et al, Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow)


"The Communist Party is the vanguard of the working class, i.e., its advanced, class-conscious part, capable of leading the masses in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the building of socialism. V.I. Lenin wrote: ’By educating the workers’ party, Marxism educates the vanguard of the proletariat which is capable of assuming power and of leading the whole people to socialism, of directing and organizing the new order, of being the teacher, the guide, the leader of all the toilers and exploited in the task of building up their social life without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie.’ (Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917)

"The party of the proletariat--a Communist Party--while being a class party has at the same time deep roots not only among the workers but also among other sections of the people.

"Communists are in no way peculiar people; they are plain workers, peasants, intellectuals, in a word, ordinary people. But they are distinguished by their greater class-consciousness, ideological steadfastness and, consequently, more intense revolutionary character and readiness to face any ordeal for the sake of the lofty idea which they have united to realize. Their life is bound up with the interests of the people and they are deeply concerned with everything that agitates the peoples minds...

"...History shows us that before becoming real vanguards the revolutionary parties usually pass through a number of stages of political and organizational development. At the outset they are, more often than not, propagandist groups and their work is conducted mainly within their own ranks. This is necessary to ensure ideological unity, educate the membership and improve the organization. Then comes the time when the parties go to the masses and begin to lead strikes and mass actions of the working class. This period is very important for it signifies the merging of the spontaneous working-class movement with the ideas of socialism and its transformation into a class-conscious, organized movement. In the next stage the party becomes a real political force capable of leading not only the majority of the working class but also considerable masses of the people.

"In some capitalist countries the Communist Parties have not yet been able to win the broad masses of the working class and have not yet become mass parties. As the vanguard uniting the most class-conscious section of the working-class in its ranks, they play no small part in the life and struggle of working people. It is clear, however, that they will be able to play a still greater part when they unite the masses around themselves. Then they will become a real political force capable of leading the workers to social emancipation, to the building of a new society.

"The speed with which a party passes from one stage to another depends on objective conditions, as well as on the correctness of its own policies and the ability of its leadership..." (Otto Kuusinen, et al, Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow)