Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Online Battle for Marxism-Leninism and Communist Education

American Communists have hyped "the world of online possibilities" which are presented by sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The United States’ Communist newspaper, the People’s Weekly World, has even given notice that it will cease hard copy production on January 1, 2010 in favor of going electronic!

(Note: In truth, the Communist Party has been on the Internet since the 1990s.)

Lenin spoke as a militant in What Is To Be Done?: “a (Communist) newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer." And the newsprint paper of the Communist Party USA was conceived and used as an organizational instrument - a spark for activism, socialist consciousness and Party recruitment– to be distributed at mill gates, shop floors, picket lines and mass meetings.

The newspaper of the CPUSA in Gus Hall’s day was "Marxist-Leninist, Communist" and it "(fought) for reforms" as "a revolutionary newspaper." The importance of a Communist newsprint and press has not diminished in any way, shape or form since Lenin’s era. Hall pronounced boldly: "to do away with the People’s Daily World would be the first step in liquidating the Party." (Gus Hall, Working Class USA; Power of Ideology)

We peruse the online edition of PWW (or the People’s World) when not at the industrial plant gates. We call on Communists to distribute Marxist leaflets with your blog address and contact info at protests and in proletarian neighborhoods or workplaces!

On the other hand, we need to, as the titanic Black American Communist Henry Winston put it, "struggle in every arena." This includes on the Internet!

V. I. Lenin said in What Is To Be Done? that Communist consciousness must be brought to the working class. Quite honestly, though, there isn’t an abundance of electronic sites providing solid Marxist-Leninist ideological education - especially on Facebook (which can’t be read by workers without FB accounts).

William Z. Foster taught future generations that a low Marxist-Leninist ideological level in the Communist Party can pave the way for revisionism and Party liquidation! (William Z. Foster, April 1948, Political Affairs)

But the Gus Hall Action Club is impressed by the statement of the Myspace group: Gus Hall Discussion Forum. We share it below the picture of Lenin. This declaration, rich in book extracts and Marxist-Leninist content, is especially distinguished by it’s defense of the concept of a fighting Communist Party, the Communist policy of industrial concentration and it’s lashing out against revisionism. We are pleased that selections from the outstanding 1970 New Program of the Communist Party U.S.A. are woven throughout, too.

Michael, Gus Hall Action Club

(V.I. Lenin: 'without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement')

from the Gus Hall Discussion Forum:

People Before Profits!

For Peace, Jobs and Equality! For Health Care for All! For a People's Front Against Reaction, War and Racism! For a Coalition Against Monopoly Capital!

"Study Marxism and you will understand that there's no way out under capitalism"--Frank Lumpkin (from 'Always Bring a Crowd')

(Note: This forum's statement below might be challenging for those who are new to Marxism. No one was born with a Karl Marx book in one hand and a Lenin book in the other. Topics on this group will explain the ideas of socialism and the what the Reds say and do today. The basic ideas of Marxism-Leninism are the science of our class--the working class. With study and effort, one can master the fundamentals. Marxist-Leninist books and writings can, as Betty Gannet once put it in a Communist pamphlet, "be grasped by the ordinary man or woman who works for a living. It was written for you--you can understand it." We, as workers, are dedicated to educating one another in the principles of Marxist-Leninist ideology. Just ask!)

Our group respects the Communist Party USA as a Party. "The Communist Party," Gus Hall, the great American Communist and former leader of the CPUSA, explained, "can be proud of its decades of contributions. It has been a major factor in the building of our trade unions. It was the main force in the organization of the mass production unions. It was the spark plug in the struggles for Social Security, for unemployment insurance. It has an uninterrupted record of struggle against racism since its founding. It has been a leading force in the struggle for equality of women. It has continued to provide the anti-imperialist content to all struggles for world peace. It has an honorable record in the struggles of family farmers. It has provided leadership in the struggle for democratic rights and against the ultra-Right and fascism. It survived the years of McCarthyite, anti-Communist hysteria." (Gus Hall, Working Class USA, 1987, International Publishers)

We uphold the principle of a vanguard Marxist-Leninist Communist Party. A 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. Otto Kuusinen, a friend of Lenin’s and principle author of Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, was correct: "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." (Otto Kuusinen, et al., Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow)

We need a fighting Communist Party in our day! A CPUSA Party Program from yesteryear made no bones about it: The working class requires a "Marxist-Leninist, working class political party--a revolutionary party dedicated to the fundamental transformation of society...A party that applies Marxism-Leninism to the struggles of the workers and their allies, a party that seeks to guide that class to power!" (CPUSA, New Program of the Communist Party U.S.A., 1970, New Outlook Publishers)

"By educating the workers’ party," V.I. Lenin, leader of Russia's proletarian revolution, wrote, "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)

After the victory of socialism, as the eminent Communist William Z. Foster pointed out, "the leader and organizer of the proletarian dictatorship is the Communist Party."

We are Communists who uphold the science of Marxism-Leninism. A CPUSA Party Program expounded Marxism-Leninism: "Our world outlook, is scientific socialism, or Marxism-Leninism as it is commonly called after Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin, its foremost originators and exponents." Marxism-Leninism, it continued, is the science of social change. Without Marxism-Leninism, the proletariat can not smash capitalism. "Marxism-Leninism is the world outlook of the working class, the theoretical instrument for achievement of working class power. Nowhere has the working class been victorious without its use." (CPUSA, New Program of the Communist Party U.S.A., 1970, New Outlook Publishers)

"Thorough mastery of Marxism-Leninism gives one a profound conviction not only of the correctness of the workers’ cause, but of the historical inevitability of the coming triumph of socialism throughout the world. Marxism-Leninism is a source of strength, even to the weak; a source of steadfast political principle. It instills the unshakable ideological conviction that enables one to withstand all trials and ordeals." (Otto Kuusinen, Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism)

We partisans of the proletariat have confidence that the working class is, has been and will be in the future, the most progressive force in society. Marx and Engels said, in the Communist Manifesto, that: "Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class." The American working class is multiracial, multinational, male-female, young and old. We work at all sorts of jobs or are unemployed. The working class owns no means of production and is compelled to sell their labor power in order to live. On the other side of the class barricade, the bourgeoisie, the capitalist class, owns the means of social production and employs wage-labor. "As long as classes exist," Lenin declared, "the class struggle is inevitable." And for Communists, "class struggle is the frame of reference." (Gus Hall)

Henry Winston, an deceased African-American militant with the Communist Party USA, spelled out that while all working class folks have a common interest in fighting against state-monopoly capitalism, they "do not all have a common place within the capitalist system from which to carry on that fight." In our era, economic restructuring has forced steelworkers, autoworkers, miners, electrical workers and other mass production workers to lose their jobs as capital chases profit around the globe. But industrial workers (workers in basic industry) are still what Winston called them: "front rankers in the class struggle." Marxist-Leninists focuses on and recruits from proletarians in the industrial sector. "The Communist Party places its industrial concentration policy at the center of its strategy." (Henry Winston, Class, Race and Black Liberation, 1977, International Publishers)

In line with the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism, we uphold the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the state power and the "political rule of the proletariat." (Lenin) The working class must command state power. This is a fundamental question. The dictatorship of the proletariat produces proletarian democracy. "Simultaneously with an immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery." (Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917)

Socialism is "a crowning achievement of the democratic struggle for a better life!" (CPUSA, New Program of the Communist Party U.S.A., 1970, New Outlook Publishers)

And V.I. Lenin hit the nail on the head: "only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested." (Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917)

Gus Hall, former leader of the Communist Party of the United States and one of the founders of the Steelworkers union (USWA), voiced the Marxist-Leninist position in an 1974 essay, Marxism-Leninism is Creativity: "Not to recognize the dictatorship of the proletariat is to be with the class struggle right up to the moment of economic and political power, only to desert it at that most critical juncture."

Our group stands four square against the revisionist and liquidationist trend in the Communist movement. A Soviet work, Right-Wing Revisionism Today, notes that "By revisionism, Lenin understood an opportunist trend alien to Marxism and socialism that existed within the revolutionary party of the working class and which, under the guise of Marxism, actually carried out a revision of the fundamental tenets of Marxist theory, replacing the basic principles of that theory by bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideas." One of it's classical features, Hall commented, was that revisionism gets rid of the concept of proletarian dictatorship. But revisionism, a falsification of Marxism-Leninism, also attacks the concept of the Marxist-Leninist vanguard party. Otto Kuusinen set down that revisionism aims to liquidate the Party or transform it into a reformist organization. Revisionists "have invariably chosen Lenin’s teaching on the Party as one of their chief targets." They deny the leading vanguard role of the Party and reject real democratic centralism. (Otto Kuusinen, Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism)

We are working class activists in the class and mass struggles of today. "Communists," Marx and Engels penned in the Communist Manifesto, "fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement."

A CPUSA Party Program from bygone days still breathes meaning: "We Communists strive for the improvement of the conditions of existence for the working class here and now." A working class, it goes on, which did not battle for day-to-day improvements would, as Karl Marx put it, "be degraded to one level mass of broken down wretches past salvation." The Program links work for reform to practice for revolution. "The struggles for day-to-day improvement are basic training for the fight to take complete political power." (CPUSA, New Program of the Communist Party U.S.A., 1970, New Outlook Publishers)

In the present movement, to paraphrase Marx and Engels, Communists represent it's future--Socialism! Capitalism is on the skids to oblivion. Another world is necessary--Socialism!

In our age, if you want to work for an end to racial and class injustice: JOIN THE COMMUNIST PARTY USA!

If you are tired of our government's imperialist war and aggression and want peace: JOIN THE CPUSA!

If you are for an end to poverty, unemployment, homelessness and hunger: JOIN!

Workers of the World, Unite!!