February 27, 2010
The Central Committee of the American Party of Labor has long planned to publish a theoretical journal. Today that plan has finally bore fruit. When a revolutionary organization dies ideologically, it is only a matter of time before it ceases to be truly revolutionary.
Such a theoretical journal is entirely necessary for building up a true proletarian movement and a true proletarian party which is national in scale, connected with the working masses and is fully consolidated in organization, in political line and in practice. This necessity is even more closely felt by all our comrades given the present situation—on the one hand, there is the eternal threat of global imperialism, led by US imperialism, and on the other, we have modern revisionism, phony Marxism that acts, at home and abroad, as agents of imperialism.
The American Party of Labor’s new theoretical journal is called Revolutionary Spirit. What is its purpose? How will it differ from other left-wing journals of the same type?
The building of a thoroughly scientific and Marxist-Leninist party is essential to our task of waging revolution in the United States. For this, we must have a thoroughly scientific theory to guide that party. This is why Revolutionary Spirit is being published at this time.
Revolutionary Spirit will be different because it breaks with all phony Marxism and revisionism. We uphold the line of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin, and we label ourselves Marxist-Leninists. This name is not meant to take away from the developments of Engels or Stalin in any way. In fact, the American parties today have thrown the teachings of Lenin and Stalin into the dustbin, whereas we have reclaimed their works as living, breathing texts.
Traditionally, stages of developing Marxism are named by adding a suffix of the latest theorist or leader to the name “Marxism.” For example, Lenin was added to Marxism by calling it “Marxism-Leninism.” We are breaking with this tradition of seeking to endlessly add suffixes, like “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” or “Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism,” since it is unnecessary in many cases, and in most cases it is a sign of a revisionist tendency, such as with Prachanda Path, the Juche Idea and Gonzalo Thought.
As well, though we follow the line of Enver Hoxha of Albania in most things, we are not going to explicitly call ourselves “Hoxhaist” or “Marxist-Leninist-Hoxhaists,” since Enver Hoxha’s developments of Marxism are not substantial enough on their own. Hoxha’s famous work Imperialism & the Revolution merely pointed the way for non-revisionists to act.
The American nation is plagued on all sides by revisionist organizations watering down and distorting Marxism by putting forward liberal, Trotskyist, anarchist and overall capitalist ideas and trying to fuse those ideas with Leninism. Since the collapse of Albania, there has been no further development of revolutionary theory, or any socialist states. There has sadly been a trend of retrogression internationally. We hold that Marxism-Leninism is the most revolutionary science alive today.
What breakthroughs are at the core of Marxism-Leninism?
• That the transition from capitalism to socialism requires the revolutionary overthrow of the exploiting classes and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
• That the transition between capitalism to socialism and from socialism to communism can only be brought about under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
• That the dictatorship of the proletariat shall be under the leadership of a vanguard party made of the working class.
• That the socialist period must take the form of a centralized state-planned economy to replace profit motive.
• That the liquidation of socialism in the Soviet Union and Albania was not due to the failure of Marxism or communism, but rather due to its distortion by revising key elements of the ideology—this distortion we call “revisionism.”
• That revisionism presents a very real danger to the anti-imperialist and Marxist-Leninist movement internationally, and that all parties should attend to the political education of their members with publications such as this, so that any future revisionism may be eliminated before it sabotages socialism once again.
• That the continuing global warfare being waged by the imperialist countries with US imperialism at the head must be opposed, as should all imperialist wars waged against the peoples in developing and colonial countries.
• That movements of national liberation that fight imperialist war, occupation and annexation in oppressed nations must be supported.
• And finally, that the current world situation reflects the continuation of decaying global capitalism and imperialism, and must be used by the working people to advance the cause of socialist revolution.
It is to uphold these principles of Marxism-Leninism that the CC of the American Party of Labor has chosen to begin publishing Revolutionary Spirit at this time.
[This article has been revised and updated - Editor, 2010]
Marxism is a political, social and economic ideology based on scientific doctrine and the materialist interpretation of history. Marxism was developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as a radical and revolutionary position on how to achieve socialism. Whereas the earlier socialists of the time believed in reform movements, Marxism called for a revolution of the proletarian class. One of the foundations of Marxism is dialectical and historical materialism. Marxism states that humanity’s history is related to class struggle, the struggle between social classes, and these struggles have changed throughout time. In present form, class struggle is primarily between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the bourgeoisie being those who own the means of production and control society and the proletariat being members of the working class who must sell their labor power merely to be exploited, having no access to the means of production. Production relations evolve overtime through class relations, and society itself becomes led by whichever class takes the upper hand. Society itself follows the “stagist” theory of historical periodization in which the order is primitive communism > slave society > feudal society > capitalism > socialism and the final epoch being communist society. Marxism also calls for a scientific criticism of capitalism, and asserts that capitalism is exploitative and essentially privatized tyranny. One of the central tenets of Marxism and communism is the abolition of private property; Marx argues society cannot fully develop until private property relations are abolished. This means that productive forces of capital such as factories, land and the other means of production must be socialized. To do this, Marxism calls for revolution and a dictatorship of the proletariat in which the people themselves, members of the working class, democratically run a socialist society until classes are abolished and there is no need for the state. Marx and Engels helped to develop the theories of materialist dialectics, the labor theory of value, the theory of alienation in capitalist society, commodity fetishism and so forth, and the two provided highly detailed economic works to back their political and social beliefs. In regards to Engels’ contribution to Marxism, after Marx’s death Engels continued editing and expanding upon their work. Marxism would later be expanded even further by Marxists such as Lenin.
Marxism-Leninism is the extension of Marxism through Lenin’s ideas, but also through Stalin. This calls for a vanguard party, or a revolutionary party of highly organized revolutionaries to help spearhead class consciousness and organize the people in order to better achieve a socialist society. Lenin knew that Russia’s conditions were not suitable for a “pure Marxist” approach, and therefore scientific correction to Marxist theory that could be applied to better suit changing conditions of society was necessary. Like “pure” Marxism, Leninism is against reformism as the means of achieving communism because of its inherent contradictory nature. Only through revolution can communism be achieved under the leadership of the vanguard party. In the Soviet Union, the dictatorship of the proletariat was governed through decentralized direct democracy practiced through councils called Soviets. The workers themselves retained political power in the form of Soviet/proletarian democracy. As Lenin called it in The State and Revolution: “An immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the rich… Suppression by force from democracy for the exploiters and oppressors of the people.” The Bolsheviks took the leading role in the struggle for the working class. They were against nationalism and exploitative elements. Stalin would further expand on Lenin’s ideas with the belief of socialism in one country and the theory that exploitative elements can arise within socialism and must be combated against via the theory of aggravation of class struggle under socialism. Not only did Stalin show how socialism in one country could work, but Hoxha of Albania did as well. Marxism-Leninism marks the most scientific and correct theory of Marxism/communism, and in practice it meant an increased focus on agriculture and industry in order to sustain a socialist state.
Anarchism, like communism, calls for the abolition of monopolies and imperialism and for a more socially-based system. Therefore, the end goal of anarchism is essentially a communist society (unless we’re referring to anarcho-capitalists of course) but how communism is achieved is where Marxists and anarchists differ. Historically, Bakunin, an anarchist, and Marx were initially close comrades. The two split because of differing viewpoints; Bakunin disagreed with the notion of dictatorship of the proletariat. Many anarchists may well disagree with the theory, but their conceptions are false and inaccurate. Anarchism, like communism, has broad implications. Mutualists for example support market socialism, which of course is revisionist and contradictory and not truly socialist. Most importantly, anarcho-communists may believe immediate transition to communism is necessary, which demonstrates a lack of understanding and maturity; the results of attempting to jump ahead into communism without first establishing a proper revolutionary party, a proper socialist nation, and then expanding socialism throughout nations, and all without understanding Marxist theories (e.g. dialectical materialism) will result in potential failure. Anarcho-syndicalists believe that labor unions are the organizations that help achieve communist society. Communists and anarchists have been seen cooperating in riots, protests, strikes and so forth to weaken capitalism. The vanguard party ultimately suppresses anarchism as a left form of petty-bourgeois ideology, however, and ultimately anarchism remains immature and idealistic when compared to Marxism.Stalinism
There is essentially no such thing as “Stalinism.” The term is used primarily to discredit supporters of the line of Joseph Stalin and the USSR. The proper term for Stalin’s beliefs is still Marxism-Leninism, as he expanded further on Lenin and Marx’s ideas. Sometimes the bourgeois try to argue that “Stalinism” is a form of government in which rapid industrial and agriculture development occurs, or even that “Stalinism” is an ideology or even a mindset, but this is a falsehood. On the subject of his personal works, Stalin’s “Marxism and the National Question” of 1913 provided insights into the Marxist theory of the nation and national struggle and was praised by Lenin.
Maoism is a Marxist-influenced ideology developed by Mao Tse-Tung, also known as “Mao Tse-Tung Thought.” Maoism differs in numerous ways from Marxism-Leninism. Mao stated that revolution can be made by the rural peasantry in colonized countries and by the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry within imperialist countries. This is to say, Maoism isn’t necessarily the idea of alliance between workers and peasants, but the alliance of classes that would benefit from the revolution, which include national bourgeoisie. Maoism essentially states that everyone can become a part of the Party regardless of their social class; this leaves room for opportunism and those who have not developed class consciousness to infiltrate the Party, unfortunately. Maoism calls for rural guerrilla warfare via protracted people’s war, in which the people themselves fight for the development of socialism. Maoism upholds the idea of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which furthermore states that people should spread communism and join the Party to influence the culture from a capitalist/feudalist society into a socialist era. However, masses of people who are not class consciousness can weaken the communist base of such an idea. In China, this happened when violence broke out and the Party began to lose control.
Maoism also calls for the theory of New Democracy, according to which the socialist stage of development is reached through a decades-long period of state-capitalism and the collaboration between several classes. Some supported this approach, upholding it as a new development of Marxism and the application of Marxism to colonial, neo-colonial and semi-feudal countries. Others were more criticial of the long-lasting nature of such a theory as well as the theoretical possibility of several classes being in power or state-capitalism peacefully transitioning to socialism. Enver Hoxha notes in Imperialism & the Revolution: “According to ‘Mao Tse-Tung Thought’, a new democratic regime can exist and socialism can be built only on the basis of the collaboration of all classes and all parties. Such a concept of socialist democracy, of the socialist political system, which is based on ‘long-term coexistence and mutual supervision’ of all parties, and which is very much like the current preachings of the Italian, French, Spanish and other revisionists, is an open denial of the leading and indivisible role of the Marxist-Leninist party in the revolution and the construction of socialism.” Maoism has as its outlook an anti-dogmatic viewpoint and throughout the 1960-1976 period subtly traded knowledge on Marxism for knowledge on Mao and his "outstanding" contributions to Marxist theory. The rightward shift and pro-US stance of the Mao and the Chinese Communist Party in the early 70's (which went into full swing after Mao's death in 1976), split the international Maoist movement into revisionist yet progressive sections, social-democratic sections and a Third-Worldist section. The Cultural Revolution, however, is generally supported by all Maoist lines even though it liquidated the CCP and went against the proletariat. There are reasons to support Maoism because of its correct stances, but also because of Maoism’s incorrect and unique stances it can become negated with error.
“Hoxhaism” as a distinct ideology does not exist, but is rather a word sometimes used to describe the supporters of the line of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian leader who portrayed himself as a defender of Marxism-Leninism. Seeking to uphold Marxist-Leninist theory, Hoxha defended Stalin from revisionist attacks and expressed his disdain for Brezhnevism, Titoism, Eurocommunism, Maoism, "anti-dogmatic" movements and other covers for revisionism and social-democracy. “Hoxhaists” refer to themselves as Marxist-Leninists.
Historically, one may have called themselves pro-Hoxha or pro-Albania, but Hoxha himself rejected the label of “Hoxhaism.” Marxism-Leninism in practice in Albania meant strict anti-revisionism; therefore Albania became rather isolated from the rising revisionism of Soviet Union and post-Maoist China. There was much focus on the development of industry and agriculture within Albania. Essentially, “Hoxhaism” is the same as Marxism-Leninism without the revisionist trends taken by the Chinese leadership. Although “Hoxhaism” does incorporate some of the same developments that Maoism does, such as more mass involvement with the political party, ultimately it sticks to Marxism-Leninism. Nonetheless, "Hoxhaists" and Maoists have often worked with one another or joined in the same parties.
Another colloquial word, "Brezhnevism" is a blanket term for supporters of the later Soviet Union and the pro-Soviet line. This form of thinking is a revisionist yet at first alluring ideology based around the belief that Khrushchev was a rightist deviator from Marxism-Leninism but that Brezhnev put a halt to this continued trend and consolidated socialism. It has come to mean basically “Pan-Socialism,” which can be aptly defined as “if a world leader claimed to be socialist and [probably] wasn't named Tito, then he or she probably was, and if he or she claimed to lead a socialist nation under Marxist-Leninist guidelines, then so much the better.” Of course, even this definition is not comprehensive, since many pro-Soviet parties have begun rehabilitation of Tito and Yugoslavia. Brezhnevites generally state that Leonid Brezhnev, Joseph Stalin, Hugo Chavez, Deng Xiaoping, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Nicolae Ceausescu, Enver Hoxha, Mao Zedong and many others were all genuine in their communist views, but that the latter two specifically made mistakes and/or moved too far towards the ultra-left when they split with the USSR. They condemn "Hoxhaism" and Maoism as “sectarian” and its analysis of state-capitalism as ultra-left and en route towards the road of rightism. Similarly, they deny the concept of social-imperialism and defend the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan in particular as fully justified, while also defending present-day China as socialist. They respond to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 with disdain, supporting the government's move against the students.
The Cuban Revolution of 1959 has produced a specific, inclusionist tendency which was open to both Brezhnevites and (most) Trotskyites, known as Castroism. Not dependent upon the USSR for its rise to power, the Cuban "Communists" pushed forward progressive reforms, but US suspicions forced the Cubans into the Soviet camp, and Castro became a committed Soviet ally. The fall of Soviet state-capitalism in 1991 allowed for a flourishing of Castroist ideology, which is a mixture of idealism, pro-social-imperialist Soviet Brezhnevism and a "humanist" outlook. Most Castroites delude themselves with grandoise visions of guerrilla warfare in the manner of Che Guevara, and tend to be open to revisionist regimes and leaders while shying away from "dogmatism" and "Stalinism." Castroists can also be semi-Maoists, and oftentimes their love of Foco merges with Maoist ultra-left phraseology. In the end, however, Castroism is the most clear example of petty-bourgeois mentality within the left today; of a person so disconnected from the proletariat that he must mythologize him and have dreams of epic battles between himself—on the side of the proletariat—and the exploiters.
Castro took on the line of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, even making liberal capitalist reforms similar to Gorbachev. When Castro first explained his theories in 1953, nationalism and social justice were stressed, but not socialism. Castro merely “became” a Marxist in 1961 to gain the support of the revisionist Soviet Union, which led to him being merely a puppet. Progressive forces were encouraged by Castro to participate in anti-imperialism, but without the will for a vanguard party. The revolutionary movement was successful in removing the Batista regime, and the people gave and still gave high support to this revolution. From there, the goal of Cuba was not truly to achieve socialism. In regards to the economic policies taken by Castro, Guevara himself argued against these capitalist policies and was critical of such actions.
As for Che Guevara himself, it is the opinion of the APL that unlike Castro, Guevara was a Marxist-Leninist who merely made mistakes, particularly his theory of foco. Through proper organization against a country's army, Che states, the conditions that make a revolution possible can be put into place by the vanguard movement and popular forces, which retain the advantage in a non-urban area. "Focoism" is the theory of guerrilla techniques by small armed units launching attacks from rural areas in order to incite dissent and form fronts from popular discontent. Che had support for both Mao and Stalin's methods. Sadly, when Guevara attempted focoism in African countries, it failed, since it was not suitable for a universal model and was dependent on extremely unique conditions within Cuba.
The key theoretical points of Trotskyism are that socialism in one country is an impossibility and opposition to “Stalinism” is paramount within the movement. The theory of permanent revolution also inherently assumes all nations develop on the same route, which they clearly do not. Internationalism is acceptable by Marxist-Leninists, but we recognize the possibility or necessity of building socialism strongly in one country first. Regarding historical figures and previous socialist societies, according to Trotskyists Stalin represented the interests of the Soviet bureaucracy and was the gravedigger of the revolution. However, Trotskyism is by no means entirely hegemonic within its own ranks, and there a number of different lines and disagreements that need to be examined and kept in mind. On the right-wing, Trotskyists of the Sam Marcy type (called “Marcyite”) generally defend the USSR and other states as "degenerated" (the USSR) and/or "deformed" (the Warsaw Pact), meaning that these states were led to some extent by bureaucracy, but remained basically within the dictatorship of the proletariat. The “left-wing” of Trotskyism, Cliffites broke with orthodox Marcyite Trotskyism on the issue of supporting the Soviet Union and condemned the "Stalinist" USSR, Eastern Bloc states and China all as state-capitalist for their entire existence, rejecting both the "degenerated" and "deformed" analysis. In the middle there are also various anomalies like pro-Cuba Trotskyists. Trotskyism is arguably the most noticeable current in the Western world due to its appeal among sections of the petty-bourgeois youth and due to misinformation about Soviet history.
This label may also include generally progressive academics and non-Marxists who claimed to be socialists, including "champagne socialist" historical figures such as Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. It is used historically to refer to movements in the time of Marx and Engels that identified as socialist. The notion of Utopian socialism is grounded in idealism, or the belief that thought creates reality and not the other way around. Utopian socialists essentially ignore class struggle and ultimately tailor their visions of society to the aristocracy, not the working class and the people themselves. The notions of Utopian socialism are reminiscent of Marx’s primitive communism; Utopian socialism becomes too grounded in nostalgia and petty romanticism and not scientific doctrine. It wasn’t until the 1700s that Utopian socialists began realizing the need for scientific development, but even these changes were less radical and again less scientific than Marxism. Marx and Engels noted the positives of Utopian socialists, and there was without a doubt some influence of this movement within communist literature, but ultimately Marx and Engels denounced the Utopians as too idealistic. Engels wrote extensively about the subject in his work Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.Left-Communism & Council Communism
Council communism as a theory argues for democratic worker councils to be established in the workplace. Left-Communism is against reformism, but also inherently anti-Leninist and anti-vanguard party. They oppose the idea of planned economies and are considered "ultra-left" by Marxist-Leninists, with more similarities to anarchism rather than Marxism. Lenin criticized the council communists in Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. It should be noted that the word "soviet" means council in Russian and that the worker's councils in the Soviet Union retained high levels of political control. In fact, these workers councils, or soviets, retained high levels of political influence throughout the Soviet Union’s existence. The movements of council communists that arose within the Soviet Union and Europe were often divided and unorganized themselves; council communism is rejection of Leninism and is by its nature unorganized.
Earl Browder, Gus Hall & the Beginnings of Revisionism
Sam Webb & the Modern CPUSA
In Political Affairs, the CPUSA’s “theoretical journal,” Sam Webb claimed that:
“Both in the transition to socialism and in its construction, I don’t foresee Communists being the sole decision makers. We will be one political force within a much larger coalition. We are getting away from the notion that the Communists are the ‘top dog’ in the struggle for socialism while other political forces will either merge or come in behind us. In our view, we will be one component of a very diverse coalition, at the center of which is the working class, the racially and nationally oppressed, and women. Of course, in such a varied coalition, there will be competing views and we will forthrightly express ours, but our emphasis will be on cooperation, on finding common ground, on unity” (Webb 2004).
“President Obama is a brilliant politician, but his election victory was as much the doing of the broad coalition that supported him, as it was his own brilliance. The alliance of candidate and coalition was mutually dependent, dynamic, and decisive in the end” (Webb 2009).
“Slightly over a year ago, the American people elected a young African American to the presidency and increased the Democratic majorities in the Congress. President Obama's victory represented a repudiation of the right-wing ideology, politics and economics. It constituted a serious setback for neo-liberalism in both its conservative and liberal skin” (Webb 2009).
“The defeat of right-wing extremism was a long time in coming, but when it finally happened it did so not only because of the brilliance of the candidate, now president, but also due to the broad wings of a people's coalition. Not in our lifetime have we participated in such a movement” (Webb 2009).
Webb’s sheer love for the Democrats is apparently without bounds however, as upon the death of Ted Kennedy, Webb wrote:
“Two ‘lions’ died last week. One was known, adored by millions, and a life-long Democrat. Born to a privileged life, he could have done anything, including choosing a life of relative leisure. Instead, he turned into a tireless liberal warhorse for justice in all its many forms. […] On Saturday a Catholic mass, included a eulogy by President Obama, celebrated his life of public service to the commonwealth. I am obviously speaking about Senator Ted Kennedy” (Webb 2009).
“The notion of the capitalist class on the one side and the working class on the other may sound ‘radical,’ but it is neither Marxist, nor found in life and politics. Pure forms exist in high theory, but nowhere else” (Webb 2009).
On Smashing the Capitalist State
“I don’t think that the political structures that currently exist will be dismantled. Nor do I think that a socialist movement will sideline the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence or a system of checks and balances on concentrated political power. It may want to extend, deepen or modify them based on both experience and the needs of socialist construction” (Webb 2004).
“Many countries that have a socialist orientation are in the developing world: China, Vietnam, Cuba. Several have adopted a concept of socialism called market socialism. I know we have said there are no models, but is the socialist market economy the new model?” (Webb 2004).
“These countries are in the early stages of socialism – they are developing countries and the productive forces are at a low level – so they are employing market mechanisms to assist in their economic development. This doesn’t contradict the thinking of Marx, Engels or Lenin. Even if we were dealing with more advanced countries – take our country for example - if this were the day after, the week after, the year after, the decade after the socialist revolution, we would employ market mechanisms in the construction of the socialist economy” (Webb 2004).
The Cuban Revolution is a complex matter. The APL stands, first and foremost, against U.S. imperialism and in support of the Cuban Revolution, praising their victory in the Bay of Pigs and their struggle against the blockade, as well as their progressive and national liberation characteristics. An analysis of the class nature of Cuban reveals it to not be a dictatorship proletariat or a socialist state. Cuba itself was a supporter of Soviet social-imperialism up to the very end and even today. Castro helped espouse Soviet revisionism, including Khrushchev’s imperialist “International Division of Labor” that hindered Cuban industrialization by specializing the economy to produce sugar cane to export to the Soviet Union, turning it into a colony of the Soviets. The APL recognizes the strategic location and importance of Cuba to both U.S. and Soviet imperialists. It is arguable that Cuba was left with the choice between being an U.S. or Soviet colony on pain of military intervention. It is also arguable that Cuba chose the less brutal option, and the blame for Cuba's lack of self-reliance is the doing of Moscow more so then Havana. This also does not mean we can simply forget the errors of the past, nor excuse the continued support of the Khrushchev–Gorbachev line of social-imperialist Soviet Union to this day on the part of the Cubans.
Vietnam is perhaps the only country which Webb listed that has had anything approaching socialism, although their progressive government as it existed under Ho Chi-Minh is long gone and the introduction of a market mechanism has resulted in the rise of a state-capitalist bourgeoisie.
Support For Imperialism & Imperialist War
If the almost complete rejection of Marxism-Leninism seen so far were not enough, as if the liquidationist tendency of the CPUSA were not enough, there are still more disturbing trends in the CPUSA to list, namely the rejection of even Marxist economics and the taking of decidedly pro-imperialist war stances. We will deal with the latter first. According to Marxism-Leninism Today, the following resolution was shot down by the CPUSA National Committee (the organ of the CPUSA that acts as a Central Committee) by a vote of 34-2. It reads:
“Whereas, the Bush Administration launched a war on Afghanistan in 2001 for the purpose of controlling the Central Asian region's oil, natural gas and other resources, and to gain strategic geopolitical advantage over U.S. rivals in Europe and Asia; and,
Whereas, this mercenary, imperialist war of aggression was sold to the U.S. people and the world public on the basis of brazen lies, first as a bid to protect the U.S. people from terrorism and then as a project to bring democracy to Afghanistan; and,
Whereas, over 918 U.S. troops have been killed since the war began, and at least three times that number have been seriously injured; and,
Whereas, at least 28,000 Afghans have been killed directly or indirectly as a result of this war, over 3.7 million have been displaced, and their economy has been shattered; and,
Whereas, corporations linked to the military-industrial complex have obtained obscene profits from this war; and,
Whereas, the cost of waging this war and occupation – $200 billion by conservative estimates – has led to the starving of badly needed social, jobs and education programs in the U.S.; and,
Whereas, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is now 68,000, more than twice the number when George W. Bush left office; and
Whereas, there are at least 70,000 U.S. private contractors and mercenaries in Afghanistan, many of whom are directly involved in prosecuting the war by helping to load bombs on drones, provide "security services," and the like;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Communist Party, USA, calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. forces, including military troops, contractors and mercenaries from Afghanistan; and,
Be it further resolved, that reparations be paid to the Afghan people from the U.S. to restore their economy to its pre-war state and as restitution for the injuries and suffering inflicted upon them; and,
Be it further resolved, that such reparations come from the profits of U.S. war profiteers in the first place; and,
Be it further resolved, that the responsible officials in the U.S. government, starting with President George W. Bush, be prosecuted for war crimes before an international tribunal; and,
Be it further resolved, that the content of this resolution be communicated to the mass media. December 12, 2009” (“MLToday”).
“North Korea's recent nuclear test, as well as its subsequent test firing of two missiles, represents a grave threat to peace and stability in the region, the fight to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world and, more generally, the fight for peace and social progress. […] We condemn these reckless and provocative acts” ("People's Weekly World").
“North Korea has claimed that it has been the victim of imperialist aggression, specifically from the United States” ("People's Weekly World").
It should be obvious to anyone who is a mature Marxist-Leninist that we must align ourselves against imperialism even if that means supporting unsavory and even reactionary politicians and characters in foreign countries. Indeed, without the freedom from foreign occupation and imperialism, bourgeois-democratic and socialist revolutions are made exponentially more difficult. Lenin’s thesis on the Right of Nations to Self-Determination is still relevant to all those who have not strived to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie.
Just when you thought the CPUSA couldn’t possibly make a bigger mockery of even the smallest basic tenets of Marxism, they have also set about abandoning Marxist economics. While Sam Webb and his bourgeois economics degree on “financialization” do not help, the worst of the worst has to be CPUSA “economist” John Case. Case has done perhaps the most ridiculous thing ever in the history of economics—he has created an economic theory based on a Bob Dylan song (Case 2009).
Aside from being flat-out incorrect almost all of the time, Case has decided to create what he calls “Lonesome Hobo” economics, in which every article he writes begins with and is focused on an excerpt from the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song “The Lonesome Hobo.” You cannot make such tripe up!
On Breaking From Vs. Reforming the CPUSA
The blatant revisionism coming from the leadership of the CPUSA could not be made more crystal clear. These factors alone necessitate a clear break from the CPUSA and the formation of a new anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist Party.
There are those well-meaning Marxists out there who imagine that we can “take back” the CPUSA from the revisionist leadership currently running it. Aside from pointing out in no uncertain terms that there is no reason to paint the house because the structure is too rotten, the APL can only say that dissent in the CPUSA, especially Marxist dissent, is resolutely crushed. Marxist-Leninist parties always have a great deal of debate and discussion as to strategy and tactics, but in the CPUSA the policy and politics are set nationally and then enforced locally. Any who wish to criticize the leadership of the CPUSA are usually pressured to either conform to the official revisionism de jour or are expelled from the party.
Secondly, those that are allowed into the CPUSA usually try and tackle the problems within the CPUSA through usual party channels, which are controlled by reformists and revisionists themselves. People are unable to make a fundamental break with the CPUSA and continue to support the CPUSA without regard to its clear revisionism, simply because it is named the “communist” party and it still presumably has a large size. This is in direct imitation of the failed tactics of William Z. Foster when he combated liquidationism in the Browder era. William Z. Foster failed in his reformist tactics, and doubtlessly these cadres will too. These well-meaning individuals ignore the fact that the material conditions today are different then they were then, and hence a victory against the CPUSA leadership is highly unlikely.
All of these factors make one see the need for an organized break from the CPUSA. Not just individual cadres leaving, but a large number of cadres rejecting the CPUSA and coming together to form a new anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist Party. This will both cripple the CPUSA revisionists politically, and set the right conditions for the establishment of a new vanguard party, much like Lenin's split with the Social Democrats or the national-chauvinist Second International. The Party already in formation is the American Party of Labor. It is the mind of the author and his comrades that only this new party can attract the non-ideological workers and bring in the experienced Marxist-Leninists to create the conditions necessary for socialist revolution, and be the vanguard party of the proletariat and the proletarian dictatorship following the socialist revolution.
"Another Dark Day in CPUSA History." MLToday. 12 Dec. 2009. Marxism-Leninism Today, Web.
Case, John. "Reforming CEO Compensation - How Much is Enough?." People's World 29 Sept. 2009, Print.
"North Korea: No Way To Act." People's Weekly World 27 May 2009, Print.
Webb, Sam. "A Ragged Process." People's World 29 Oct. 2009, Print.
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For white people, 11.6% are in less skilled blue collar and service jobs, 16.6% are skilled blue collar and supervisors, 10.7% are in clerical or sales occupations, 24.5% are doctors, lawyers, managers or other professionals, 1% are farmers or farm laborers, 2% are unemployed and 33.6% are not in the labor force.
Third-Worldism is a bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology. As such, they share much in common with common liberals when it comes to the fixation with “consumerism.” Frequently, Maoist Third-Worldists condemn “First-Worlders” for buying decadent products produced by capitalism, sliding into the camp of Eric Schlosser and Naomi Klein. This is a manifestation of petty-bourgeois guilt. It is not an accident that Maoist Third-Worldists, anarchists, primitivists, hippies, social democrats and basically all of the “left” who become political within a country under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and are not members of a party of the working class, share common features. Paramount among them is a feeling that “consumerism” is the enemy.
A scientific communist understands that “consumerism” is not the issue. Only the most foolish person would deny that the working class (and all human beings in general), require food, clothing, medical supplies and other items. Under capitalism, these items and all fruits of social production are manufactured by private companies and distributed through private retail outlets. One must buy or starve—there is no alternative mode of accumulation and distribution, and upstart Utopian projects of idealistic survival agriculture by the petty-bourgeois, who feel guilt for consuming such products, always lead to ruin.
Third-Worldists claim that the principle contradiction of today is not between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between the First World and the Third World. So in essence, there are no classes, only countries. According to the Third-Worldists, the “Third World” countries have no national bourgeoisie, and the “First World” countries have no working class. It was this anti-Marxist line that lead the People's Republic of China to support Mobutu Sese Seko, Augusto Pinochet, Suharto in Indonesia and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. This theory manifested itself as shameless proliferation of weaponry and aid in the aim of expanding the social-imperialist sphere of the People's Republic of China. Like the Chinese revisionists who came up with the “Three Worlds Theory,” Third-Worldists see the world revolution happening as a flood of Protracted People's Wars to encircle and surround the “First World” from the “Third World.” This is a misinterpretation of legitimate national-liberation struggles, padded with the hopes and dreams of the guilty petty-bourgeoisie. Expanding on this, we move on to one of the fundamental Third-Worldist concepts.
The American Party of Labor does not deny that to some extent the peoples of the advanced imperialist countries do live off of the backs of the “Third World”; this is imperialism. The ruling class does part with some of its profits to create an environment where they won't get lynched in public. However, there are many flaws with the Maoist Third-Worldist outlook on this.
2) What today an imperialist country might be a “Third World country” in a century or less. A neocolonial possession can also become an imperialist power in its own right in a century or less. Turkey used to be the pinnacle of a powerful empire up until 1923. Now, they are an impoverished country with mandatory military service and a minimum wage of €302.61 per month (around 474$ US). As with the fallacy of Third-Worldists refusing to acknowledge dialectics, they cannot understand that the economic situation and balance of geopolitical power is constantly in motion, hence using nations and countries as a basis for class struggle is flimsy.
“Marxist-Leninist dialectics teaches us that there is no limit to development, that nothing stops changing. In this process of unceasing development towards the future, quantitative and qualitative changes occur. Our epoch, like any other, is characterized by profound contradictions which Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin defined so clearly. It is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, hence, of great quantitative and qualitative transformations which lead to revolution and the seizure of power by the working class in order to build the new socialist society” (254).
3) Revolutionary content is not based on skin color, nor race, nor geographic location. Tin-pot dictators like Pinochet and Mobutu were from the glorious “Third World,” and Maoist hero Norman Bethune was from the “First World.” Whether or not you are a revolutionary has nothing to do with racialism or geographic location.
4) No proletariat is “more deserving” of revolution than others, and it is not “national-chauvinist” to have a revolution. Here is an excerpt by Hoxha from Imperialism & the Revolution:
It exists everywhere, it exists in the United States of America between the proletariat and the imperialist bourgeoisie, it exists, likewise, in the Soviet Union, where Marxism-Leninism has been betrayed and a new bourgeois-capitalist class which oppresses the working people of that country, has been created. Classes and the class struggle exist also in the second world., as in France, Britain, Italy, West Germany, Japan. They exist also in the "third world", in India, Zaire, Burundi, Pakistan, the Philippines, etc.
5) “Why won't the First World workers rebel then?” asks the Third-Worldist. His/her answer is that they must benefit from imperialism and be a huge bought-off labor aristocracy. The true answer to this lies in basic Marxism-Leninism. On the one hand, workers work, hence the reason for a vanguard party. The most advanced elements of the working class are generally those who have a bit of time to acquire the consciousness to play a leadership role. The rest are stuck in the daily grind, and when you are consumed with your material existence, social change is rarely on the radar. On the other hand, as Marx said, “the ruling ideas in society are the ideas of the ruling class.” National-chauvinism, racism, sexism, homophobia...these are learned behaviors propagated by the dissimenators of bourgeois ideology.
The entire theory of “Third-Worldism” is ridiculous. While the American Party of Labor acknowledges that exploitation and oppression is relative, one has to keep in mind that even in the dawn of the industrial revolution the oppressed and starving masses of Dickensian England were living in a country that was profiting off of undeveloped colonies abroad. In the Third-Worldist's opinion, that would make even the most wretched of English street paupers a “labor aristocrat,” because they live in an imperialist country. The theory strikes one as the Maoist version of “Original Sin.” Just as a Catholic baby is born “sinful,” a child born in the first world is a “parasite” in the eyes of the petty-bourgeois ideologues of Third-Worldism.