Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Save the Party

[This Document was part of the 2010 pre-convention papers submitted, which was, incidentally buried and forgotten in the comments section of Political Affairs. It's insightful analysis was apparently not considered important enough to include in the list of pre-convention documents in the article: http://cpusa.org/convention-discussion-2010/ -Ed.]

By Dean Christ, Kevin Kyle, and Joan Phillips

We think the CPUSA convention, postponed several times, cannot come soon enough. We believe the Party has been heading in a wrong direction in far too many ways.
What has happened the Partys tradition of class struggle, anti-racism,anti-monopoly, anti-imperialism, political independence, international solidarity, and indeed Marxism-Leninism?
Instead of building the Party, the current top leaders (no matter what they think or claim they are doing) have been dismantling the Party piece by piece: eliminating the print versions of the Peoples Weekly World and Political Affairs, giving away the Reference Center for Marxist Studies, keeping bookstores shut, abolishing the national Organization Department and several clubs in New York, not to mention cutting YCL funding instead of prioritizing it.
The June 2009 move to end the print edition of the PWW sent shock waves through the Party. Moreover, for top leaders to sweep under the rug the many letters of protest from individuals, clubs, and districts, constituted factionalism and a violation of democracy, for which there should be accountability. With some top officers of the Party now advising against the use of the word "Leninism" as "foreign," the word liquidation used by some comrades seems no longer an exaggeration.
How to Build the Party
While those of us opposed to the current direction may not wholly agree on the way forward, many would agree on the broad outlines:
* Put the class struggle at the center of our thinking and work. Organize the people's rage at Wall Street bailouts and mass joblessness by calling for nationalization and democratic control of the banks and basic industry, and by putting the Anti-Monopoly Coalition back at the center of our revolutionary strategy to win socialism.
* Put forth an anti-crisis program centered on job creation and call attention to the special suffering of youth, immigrants, and African Americans. Work in union rank-and-file movements, building unity, militancy and class-struggle policies.
* Organize the unemployed into a political force to be reckoned with by the ruling class. We need Unemployed Councils to fight politically for jobs at living wages.
* Resume our historically second-to-none role as a leading opponent of racism, national oppression and all forms of discrimination, and as an advocate and exemplar of Black-white unity. The conditions facing African Americans, Latinos and other nationally oppressed people are disproportionately bad and getting worse. Symbolic of the top leaderships tone-deafness on national oppression, it was an affront to Latino workers, an increasingly important group of the specially oppressed, to dismiss the Spanish-language editor of the PWW.
* Build political independence ideologically and organizationally. Support progressive Democrats when they take the side of the people, and oppose them when they take the side of corporate and military interests. Support progressive independents. Run Communist candidates where possible and appropriate.
* Oppose in principle the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as predatory, unjust wars that must end at once. Oppose U.S. imperialism in all its manifestations.
* Build mass peoples movements with renewed energy, including the anti-war movement, the movement for womens equality and movements against racist and political repression. Rebuild Party-related left organizations, including in the labor movement.
* Revive Marxist-Leninist inner Party education to enhance members' political development. Its neglect is evident in the party leadership's opportunistic collapseon so many issues under the ideological pressure of monopoly capital.
* Join unequivocally the fight against the impending catastrophe of climate change and link this cause to the class struggle.
* Heighten solidarity with the Cubans, Palestinians, and other peoples besieged by imperialism.
* Work with other Communist Parties, such as the Greeks and Portuguese, who have been confronting opportunism and promoting international Communist cooperation in recent years.
Most of us recognize that the Partys practice in the recent period, sadly, has fallen far short of these aspirations.
The blame belongs squarely with the Party's general political and ideological line, and not, as some say, member lethargy. The political line, rendering us indistinguishable from the Democrats, makes recruitment hard, saps Party morale, and leads to chronic financial crisis.
All clear-headed Communists acknowledge that, in response to the greatest capitalist crisis in 70 years, President Obama has opened up some policy debates around health care, job creation, workers rights, environmental protection and nuclear disarmament. These issues were not -- and are not -- even on the agenda of the Republican Party.
Yet these positive openings do not cancel out the Administrations role in the growing death and destruction in Afghanistan, the billions of dollars pouring into Wall Street banks and the corporations, the re-authorization of the blockade of socialist Cuba, or the refusal to reverse Bushs policies of rendition and the abridgement of civil liberties.
These openings do not justify exaggerating the possibilities opened up by the Obama presidency or warrant fantasies about a social movement led by Obama.
More and more, the Party line subordinates everything to Democratic Party electoral work. It fails to grasp the centrality the sheer gravity and scope of this world capitalist economic crisis and the hardships the crisis is inflicting on the working class, and the corresponding need for a militant fight-back.
The line wildly exaggerates Obamas progressive side and sows illusions about the Democratic Party as a vehicle for social change.
The Iraq War rages on. The President recently signed an all-time high $680 billion war budget, an obscenity, yet the Party voice is muffled. The line since the last convention has weakened our ties to the international Communist movement. Too many joint statements by the world movement on the Middle East and other burning issues go unsigned by the CPUSA. Our Partys rosy "analysis" of the Obama Administration is rejected by the rest of a world Communist movement which is mobilizing against U.S. imperialism's current crimes.
Some top leaders push technological panaceas. Yet the over-reliance on technology is creating a party of people sitting alone in front of a computer screen. The Internet cannot substitute for direct mass contact with workers through print publications.
It cannot replace struggle in the streets, shops, and communities. Militant tactics measuring up to the desperate conditions created by this economic crisis are not pushed by the CPUSA. In practice, the current political line ignores the lessons of the 1930s and our Party’s finest legacies: the CIO, and the building of all mass movements from the grass roots.
Our Party publications have lost working-class common sense. Their pages lavish undeserved praise on the Administration, and downplay what really matters such as: an immediate end to the U.S. aggressions in the Middle East; a jobs program which is not a carbon copy of the AFL-CIO program, and which puts forth advanced demands such as a cut in the workweek with no cut in pay; equality for all nationally oppressed groups; an end to the blockade of Cuba and freedom for the Cuban Five; and health care reform worthy of the name.
The gap between reality and the current political line has rarely been greater.  We need a change. We want to restore a fighting Communist Party organization that leads struggle. Let’s make the most of our pre-convention discussion.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

From the Communist Party of Canada: Lessons from Our History: Resolution adopted by the Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada.

Aug. 27-28, 2011

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of the Communist Party of Canada. From its founding convention held in a barn in Guelph, Ontario in 1921 until today, we have striven to remain true to our guiding principles and theory, and to realize them in our daily activities and struggles  as a revolutionary party of the working class of Canada, based firmly on MarxismLeninism and proletarian internationalism.
As we celebrate this anniversary, we remember the many contributions and achievements of our Party over those ninety years. Whether it was in organizing the unorganized, forging most of the industrial and public sector unions which exist today in our country; building and leading the farmers' movements for survival and dignity; organizing the ranks of Canada's unemployed during the Great Depression, launching the famous OntoOttawa Trek; mobilizing thousands of young volunteers to fight against fascism in Spain and later across Europe during WWII; building the peace & disarmament movement in the postwar years; leading the historic struggle within the labor movement in Englishspeaking Canada to recognize the national rights of Quebec; helping to forge the panCanadian student movement in the 1970s; helping to build broad movements for civic reforms, universal health care, and defense of Canadian sovereignty; all of these and many other episodes in our history we remember with pride.
And we remember too that our revolutionary activities were carried out in circumstances of unrelenting hostility and attacks from Canada's ruling capitalist class and its state. The periods when our Party was forced to work under conditions of illegality; when Tim Buck and other Party leaders and members were convicted and imprisoned; the McCarthystyle witch hunts which targeted our members and supporters and Communistled unions; the secret ProFunc plans of the Canadian State to round up and incarcerate thousands of Communists and their families; the constant ideological, propaganda and physical attacks against our Party (from both the right and 'left') because it refused to succumb to antiSovietism  we remember all of those difficult days, and honor the memory of those comrades who endured such outrages with courage and resolve. We came to understand  both at a theoretical level and through those reallife experiences as a Party  that the class purpose of those political and ideological attacks was not only to weaken and diminish our ranks, and to isolate the Communists from our living ties to the working class; it was also done in the hope of shaking Communists from our class bearings and pressuring the Party to abandon its revolutionary theory.
It is in this context that we mark another anniversary of sorts this year  it has been two decades since the innerparty struggle that almost liquidated our Party. In the late 1980s, George Hewison assumed the Party leadership and shortly thereafter a motley group of right opportunists, careerists and Trotskyists gradually gained ascendency within the Central Committee of the CPC. They were able to do so by concealing their liquidationist agenda and by taking advantage of confusion and disorientation within Party ranks due to developments in the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) where under Gorbachev's stewardship the clouds of counterrevolution were gathering. In due course, the Hewison clique set about dismantling our Party piece by piece, starting with the dissolution of the Young Communist League and layoffs of Party cadre, and then the closure of the party's print shop and publishing house, and progressive bookstores across the country.
As their liquidationist project gained momentum, this group began to openly break with the ideological principles and political line of our Party. They began negating the history of our Party (and that of the international communist movement in general) as having been "sectarian", "vanguardist" and "doctrinaire". They advanced reformist ideas about "incremental change" in place of, and as a substitute for, the concept of revolutionary transformation from capitalism to socialismcommunism. They decreed that "imperialism" was an outdated concept (!), which no longer characterized "post industrial capitalism". And they attacked democratic centralism, the organizational principle of our Party, and set about dismantling Party clubs and other organizational structures. Over time, their denunciations of "Stalinism" led to attacks on Leninist ideas, and ultimately to a refutation of the postulates of Marxism itself. And they proposed that the Party change its name, dropping all reference to 'communist' from our banner.
Behind the scenes, this liquidationist faction began holding secret meetings with social democrats and 'independent leftists' to dissolve the Communist Party with the goal of forming a new 'united party of the socialist left', using party assets to finance their new venture.
Following the 1990 Convention, opposition to the increasingly obvious abandonment of Marxist theory and practice by the Hewison leadership grew across the country. When detailed evidence surfaced of their secret plans to dissolve the Party and steal its assets, and as expulsions of members began, the majority of the party membership demanded an emergency Canadawide convention to resolve the issue. But the liquidators refused and instead set about dissolving party clubs and provincial committees that opposed their conspiracy. Members were told to sign loyalty oaths to Hewison et al or else face a refusal to renew their memberships.
Ultimately however the membership defeated their plans and saved the Communist Party from destruction, but at a heavy political, organizational and financial cost.
Ours was not the only Communist Party to go through such a convulsive experience; other parties around the world went through similar and sometimes worse trials during those difficult years. To our south, a liquidationist faction attempted to gain control of our sister party the Communist Party USA, but were successfully beaten back.
The lessons drawn from that painful episode in our history are important for the Communists in Canada  veterans and new members alike. But they are lessons which can also be useful to Communists internationally, in our common struggle for social emancipation, for an end to class exploitation and oppression  for socialism.
It is in this context that we now comment on recent developments and debates which have been taking place in our neighboring party, the CPUSA. For several years now, our Central Committee has received inquiries from many concerned members about political and organizational changes in that party, and the renunciation by leading cadres of such fundamental Marxist concepts as "the dictatorship of the proletariat", "democratic centralism" and "proletarian internationalism."
The concerns raised have dealt with a number of interrelated issues, such as various statements issued by the CPUSA dealing with international questions, especially on the Palestinian struggle, and on the U.S. wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan; on trade union policy which many feel is insufficiently critical of class collaborationism in the leadership of the AFLCIO (which has a direct bearing on Canada given the large presence of AFLCIO affiliates in the Canadian Labor Congress); on the assessment of the role and class position of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party and the absence of any independent electoral presence of the CPUSA in its own name; on various pronouncements by leading figures of the CPUSA on changing the party name, in describing the multitrillion dollar government bailouts as "a dose of socialism", etc.; and in organizational decisions to cease the print editions of People's Weekly World and Political Affairs, the layoffs of Party and YCL organizing staff, the internetbased 'open door' approach to party recruitment, etc.
Although deeply concerned about many of these developments, our Central Committee has until now refrained from comment. However, in light of the publication earlier this year of the article "A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century" by CPUSA Chair Sam Webb, our Central Committee finds it necessary to clarify our Party's views on certain critical questions which have been raised. Although the various theses presented in this article refer, in the first place, to a proposed reorientation of the CPUSA itself, its title and text read as if these ideas should form the 'template' of the political approach of Communist parties in general, or certainly at least in other advanced capitalist countries such as Canada. This assumption was confirmed when comments from other fraternal parties were actively solicited by the CPUSA, a highly unusual practice.
We are aware of the formal responses given to this article by the Communist Parties of Greece (KKE) and Mexico. Our Party is in substantive agreement with the main criticisms of this document expressed by these two parties. We consider that the political line advanced in "A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century" constitutes a fundamental departure from MarxistLeninist theory and practice. The pursuit of such an approach will objectively lead to the liquidation of the CPUSA as a revolutionary party of the working class in that country.
Based on our 90 years of struggle, on our Party program "The Road to Socialism", our Constitution, and on the decisions reached our conventions, the Communist Party of Canada understands its nature and role, and undertakes its political activities, as guided by the following general considerations and conclusions (among others):
* that the main contradiction underlying capitalism in Canada today remains the class contradiction, reflecting in the class struggle between the two main classes  the ruling capitalist class (especially its core, monopoly capital) and the working class of our country, a contradiction which can only be resolved through the revolutionary transformation of our society from capitalism to socialism.
* therefore that as a revolutionary party, the main task of the CPC is to defend and advance the longterm interests of the working class in pursuit of this ultimate objective, and "strives to be the leading political party of the working class, of all who labor by hand and brain... [a party which] arises out of the working class and is an organized political detachment of that class... [and which] has no interests separate and apart from those of the working class as a whole."
* that our Party supports the struggle for immediate reforms to improve the conditions of the working class and the people under capitalism, and seeks unity with all other forces which support and will fight for such advances; at the same time, our Party never loses sight of the ultimate goal of socialism nor the fact that there can be no other course to socialism other than through the revolutionary overthrow of the existing order. In this regard, we consider a correct understanding of the dialectical relationship between reform and revolution to be of paramount importance;
* that in pursuing the broadest possible unity with other class and social forces to achieve immediate advances, it is absolutely imperative for our Party to studiously safeguard its independent role as a revolutionary party of the working class and oppose tendencies or pressures  either from within or without our ranks  to efface or submerge our independent role.  The CPC considers it vital that it speak directly, visibly and openly in our own name, and engage in ideological struggle  the 'battle of ideas'  against bourgeois, reformist and class collaborationist concepts that weaken, disarm and divide the movement;
* that the "world outlook of [our] Party is based on Marxism-Leninism, which embodies the theory of scientific socialism first developed by Karl Marx, Frederick Engels and V.I. Lenin. Marxism-Leninism is not a dogma; it is a living, developing theory, tool of analysis and guide to action. It incorporates the concentrated experience of all the struggles of the working class, both in Canada and around the world" [from Chapter 8 of our Party Program "Canada's Future is Socialism"];
* that the CPC is imbued with a proletarian internationalist outlook, reflected in both our struggle to achieve socialism in Canada, and in our active solidarity with antiimperialist and revolutionary struggles, and efforts to build socialism around the world. A critical aspect of our internationalist responsibility is the ideological struggle against bourgeois slanders and distortions of the history of the international working class movement and its efforts to forge socialism, both in the past and in the present day; and
* that in terms of our organizational principles as a Communist Party, these "are determined by its political aims... to guide the working class to the achievement of these aims, and to lead the people's struggle, the Party must be founded on firm ideological, political and organizational unity, and on the continuous organized activity of its members in close contact with the working people, knowing their views and needs, and able to explain Party policy. Democratic centralism is the organizational principle which ensures this." [from our Party Constitution]
This is where we stand, and these are the principles which we unwaveringly defend.

Article from the German Communist Party: Of Saviors and Liquidators: V. I. Lenin, Alvaro Cunhal, Sam Webb Hans-Peter Brenner, German Communist Party

July 9, 2011

On a “Feature” of Coping with a Political Defeat

Certain Features of the Historical Development of Marxism is a work of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. In it he dealt with the consequences of the defeat of the first Russian revolution of 1905.  At that time, many party members (including many recently enrolled intellectuals) left the revolutionary party in droves. Soon after that, the farewell to Marxism, which we too experienced in 1989-1991, became the fashion.
As a reflection of this change there occurred profound disintegration, confusion, shaking and swaying of all sorts - in a word, there appeared a very serious internal crisis of Marxism. The resolute defense against this decay, the determined and persistent struggle for the basics of Marxism, again came on the agenda.
That was Lenin's diagnosis.
It was -- and still is -- important for us German Communists to examine what conclusions other Communist parties later drew from the defeat of socialism in Europe and the USSR.
First of all, I think about the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba, which had already adjusted to this disaster before the shameful end of Mikhail Gorbachev who drove to ruin Soviet socialism, his country, and his party. Cuba -- the country and the Communist Party – understood this: the harsh “drought” of the Special Period would govern the 1990s and early 2000s. Without its revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist character, the Communist Party of Cuba would have given up its socialist goal.
Self-awareness or Self-doubt?
I recall one Communist leader, prominent but, unfortunately, less noted in Germany, Alvaro Cunhal (1913-2005), the longtime general secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). At the time of the fascist Salazar dictatorship, Cunhal’s underground struggle, his inspiring and mobilizing role during and after the 1974 victory of the "Carnation Revolution,” as well as his shrewd leadership, are legendary.
The advance of the socialist stage of the revolutionary upheaval in Portugal was stopped by the united and coordinated actions of U.S. imperialism, NATO, the EU, the main European imperialist states, international social democracy, and domestic reaction.
Thanks to his personal resourcefulness, Cunhal embarked upon a strategic retreat. With a party united by a Marxist-Leninist program, he achieved the preservation of the PCP and its mass influence. He developed its clear profile, which it keeps today, as a revolutionary party of the working class, peasants and other working people.
To this day, his conclusions about the character of a Communist Party at the beginning of the 21st century are well worth reading. In his 2001 work, As Seis de Caracteristicas Fundamentais do Partido Comunista (The Six Basic Features of a Communist Party) Cunhal goes into the internal situation of the Communist movement at the beginning of the 21st century. He writes: 

The international Communist movement, and the parties from which it is made up, were subject to profound changes as a the result of the collapse of the USSR and other socialist countries and capitalism's success in its rivalry with socialism. There were parties who denied their militant past, their class nature, the goal of a socialist society, and revolutionary theory. In some cases, they were transformed into system-integrated parties, and they eventually disappeared from the scene.
In 2011 as well, this finding is relevant and correct.
Features of a Communist Party
The Communist movement as a whole - Cunhal went on – has achieved flexibility in its composition and reached new limits. Admittedly, though there is no model of a Communist Party, nonetheless "six basic features can reveal a Communist party, regardless of whether the party bears that name or another.
Briefly, their traits could include:
1. To be a party completely independent of the interests, ideology, pressure and threats of capitalist forces;
2. To be a party of the working class, the working people, in general, the exploited and oppressed;
3. To be a party with a democratic internal life and a unified central leadership;
4. To be a party which is both internationalist and which defends the interests of its country;
5. To be a party that defines its goal as the building of a society which knows neither exploited nor exploiters, a socialist society;
6. To be the bearer of a revolutionary theory, the theory of Marxism-Leninism, which not only makes the explanation of the world possible, but also shows the way to change it.
In its simplicity and plainness, the last point sounds like it is of little interest, just as the other five points appear to include too little that is new. And yet these "self-evident truths" are not self-evident truths - not even for Communists. But more of that later.
Classics Taken at their Word
Cunhal made available to us the following explanation for his six points. It is cited here, in more detail, because of its uniqueness and distinctiveness:
All the slanderous, punishing, anti-Communist campaigns are lies. Marxism-Leninism is a living, anti-dogmatic, dialectical, creative theory, which is further enriched by practice and by its responses to new situations and phenomena, which is its job. It drives the practice of enrichment and development, dynamically and creatively using the lessons of practice.
Marx in Capital,  and Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto,  analyzed and defined the basic elements and characteristics of capitalism.
In the second half of the 19th century, however, the development of capitalism underwent an important amendment. Competition led to concentration and monopoly. We owe to Lenin and his work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism the definition of capitalism at the end of the 19th century. These theoretical developments are of exceptional value. And the value of research and systematization of theoretical knowledge is rated as high.
In a synthesis of extraordinary clarity and rigor, a famous article by Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism explains it. In the philosophy of dialectical materialism, historical materialism is its application to society. Political economy is the analysis and explanation of capitalism and exploitation, and the theory of surplus value is the cornerstone for understanding exploitation. The theory of socialism is the definition of the new society, the abolition of exploitation of man by man.
During the 20th century and the social transformations accompanying it, much new theoretical thinking was added. However, there also was scattered and contradictory thinking which made it difficult to distinguish what is theoretical development and where it is a question of revisionist deviation from principles. Hence the urgent need for debate without preconceptions and without making truths absolute. It's not about the search for conclusions deemed to be final, but rather the intensification of joint reflection." Quoted from: www.kommunisten.ch
Cunhal is now dead six years. His party, the PCP, however, considers him not an idol on a pedestal, a "historical figure" whose thoughts and ideas slowly but gradually have been forgotten. Today, his theoretical and programmatic conclusions determine the path and self-understanding of the PCP. But, unfortunately, it is quite different elsewhere.
On Slippery Ground
The current example of this is the thinking of the chairman of the CPUSA, Sam Webb. Political Affairs, the theoretical organ of his party, published in February this year under the title: "A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does." It has now appeared in German on the news portal of the German Communist Party's website,  www.kommunisten.de
Why are Webb's theses of interest beyond the CPUSA?
For example, why did the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), despite the demands of the controversies and class struggles raging in that country, to which it devotes so much energy and combativeneness, send a really dramatic appeal To the members and cadres of the Communist Party USA! To U.S. militant workers! It was also addressed to all the Communist and Workers' Parties, "in order to protest against these theses."
And now, why do German Communists deal with the Webb theses too?
Sam Webb stressed at the beginning of his 29 theses, each different in detail and very different in theoretical significance, that he was on slippery ground. The publisher of the theoretical journal of the CPUSA, Political Affairs, also knew well what he was getting involved with by posting it. The preface that introduces the article makes this clear.
"The following article represents only the views of its author. It doesn't necessarily reflect the official views of any organization or collective... "
And Sam Webb, too, seemed to suspect, that there would be some critics reading his theses who would be reminded of the old proverb whereby the overconfident donkey will go out onto the ice and dance, i.e., take unreasonable risks.
At least this would apply to those who judge mental capers not by their intricate originality and self-circling conclusions, but rather by the donkey’s ability to keep its balance and pursue a course that will give meaning to its (political) acrobatics.
Apparently, to avoid such criticisms, Webb emphasized in the introduction that it was a "draft," an unfinished manuscript, and that "readers will surely note inconsistencies, contradictions, silences and unfinished ideas."
This is all too ostentatious modesty, and the ensuing fishing for compliments belies the altogether clear and complete implications of the theses.
Communists without Lenin
In the end Sam Webb delivers a very consistent idea, although it is not original. A letter in the German Communist Party weekly Unsere Zeit has already pointed out:
What is so exciting, new and important for us in these theses of Comrade Webb...? I cannot see it. Readers of Marxistische Blaetter already read and evaluated the core of his "Reflections on Socialism" in mid-2008 (In Focus: International Marxism, March 2008). And in our party, since the mid to late 1980s, we have discussed other theories (for example, the reduction of Marxism to a mere method, or the orientation to”Marxism without Lenin." Not only did we do this thoroughly, but we developed collective responses crowned with a new party program'. Lothar Geisler, "Theses Not New," Unsere Zeit, July 1, 2011, p. 12)
In fact, most of the 29 theses do not contain much that is new. Though he writes of merely one in the article mentioned in Marxistische Blaetter from 2008, in its approaches, the quixotic intellectual journey already discernible in 2008 continues, but it now ends as a break with central points of Communist theory — socialism, and the doctrine of the Party. He runs aground on the shoals of a left–pluralist Marxism; or the earlier "Eurocommunism," or the current democratic socialism of the German Left Party, European Left, respectively.
I mention particularly the rejection of the theory of Marx, Engels and Lenin as a unified, revolutionary theory of the working class.
What is original here is a hitherto less well-known chauvinistic undertone. As noted in his Thesis #2:
As for "Marxism-Leninism," the term should be retired in favor of simply "Marxism." For one thing, it has a negative connotation among ordinary Americans, even in left and progressive circles. Depending on whom you ask, it either sounds foreign or dogmatic or undemocratic or all of these together.
Granted, Lenin was no Russian exile finding safety in the U.S., taking out U.S. citizenship, and Americanizing his first or last name - perhaps to Sam Cook or Sam Smith.
But do ordinary Americans deem Karl Marx to be a fellow American?
And does Marxism really sound so terrifically American, that perhaps Sarah Palin herself, the icon of ordinary Americans, understands by Marxism a sweetness and innocence, causing her patriotic sentiment to peal like a church bell?
So the real test awaits Jim and Jane, ordinary Americans.
Shakespeare's Macbeth comes to my mind, with its sigh, almost a curse:
"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
But the meaning of Webb's theses is more than noisy fury.
We long-suffering European Communists are quite accustomed to this counterposing of Marx and Lenin, and the elimination of the latter from what is coyly called "Marxism" or - even more subtly - "scientific socialism."
A Diminished Picture of History
In the early 1980s, the German Communist Party grappled intensively with a forerunner of today's "Webbism," the idea of a Western "plural" Marxism, and a Marxism without Leninism. It arose in the study and seminar rooms of the West Berlin professor Wolfgang Fritz Haug.
At the same time, the highly relevant Marxist journal Argument was being published (compare Marxism. Ideology. Politics. Crisis of Marxism, or Crisis of the Argument? Frankfurt am Main, 1984. Editors: Hans Heinz Holz, Thomas Metscher, Joseph Schleifstein, and Robert Steigerwald.)
The second argument pushed by Webb for the amputation of Marxism-Leninism is even less original. And it is no less wrong. Back then it was also formulated by the Haug school. Allegedly, Marxism-Leninism is not "classical Marxism."
Sam Webb's allegation of "simplification" of the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and other early Marxists in the form of "Marxism-Leninism" in the Stalin era is simply wrong.
In the Soviet Communist Party and the Communist International, after the death of Lenin and long before the nonsensical enthronement of Stalin as the "one true disciple of Lenin," acknowledgement began of Lenin as the third classical author of Marxism.
The careful processing, safeguarding and development of Lenin's theoretical legacy by many CPSU and Comintern theorists are hidden by the Webb theses in a way that ignores history.
The general assertion that "Soviet scientists under Stalin's leadership systematized and simplified earlier Marxist writing," not to mention adapting it to the needs of Soviet state ideology, is nothing more than repetition of the old anti-Soviet slogans.
There were, in the course of seventy years of Soviet party history and scientific history, numerous introductions to the academic and theoretical papers of Marx, Engels and Lenin. They were simplifications, just as in any scientific discipline there is simplification in all introductions, compendia, and so forth. They are merely introductions.
In no way was there systematic falsification of the inheritance. Even in the post-socialist era, the collected works of classical authors have still not finally emerged. This does not change the fact that, in a few texts of Lenin, there also was one or another politically motivated "editorial reworking" or omission, although this was justified and made transparent.
It is not true that Marxism-Leninism was — or is — an impoverished, simplified version of the true Marxism.
Certainly there was and is, in every theory and in all science, phases of greater or lesser creativity and development. And undoubtedly there was and will be future phases, just as in any scientific doctrine, in which revolutionary Marxists/Communists do not evaluate promptly new social and/or natural scientific phenomena. Or they do so too late. Or in a way that is only partly correct. In general, it is the nature of science that it moves in a contradictory manner between faster and slower stages of development.
Webb's more far-reaching conclusion is that even what he designates as his new "Marxism" is only a "scientific method."
He thinks his altogether limited and schematic scientific-theoretical view surpasses the comprehensive legacy of the three classic founders of Marxism-Leninism.
A "method" which brings to light no apparent content, is worthless. And in the thesis of Sam Webb, the method goes straight to this "new-old" distinction and the rejection of content.
A German Version of Webb?
After the defeat of real socialism, the Left could not fail to weigh its previous relationship with Lenin and Leninism. The PDS [Party of Democratic Socialism] originating in a Marxist-Leninist party did this too. It broke with its Leninist heritage. In May 1990 at a closed meeting of the former PDS Executive Board, Gregor Gysi spoke about the new theoretical basis of his reform-socialism-turned-political-party. In this context, he explained both the departure from Marxism-Leninism and the move to an "ideologically pluralistic" party in which the Communist component would enjoy only a marginal existence, tolerated and allowed.
Thus far the statements by Sam Webb are nothing new. The same applies to his "new" concepts of organizational theory. They are in theory 27 ideas presented to remodel the party structure into an informal communication network, mainly Internet-based, whose members interact with each other primarily via e-mail.
Abolition of the unity principle and the commitment to the party program and decisions amounts to a vote for the open liquidation of the Communist Party.
Reassuring evidence that the huge distances between widely scattered individual U.S. Communists absolutely requires use of modern means of communication, in this context, is not completely convincing.
It's clear Webb doesn't mean to modernize the lines of communication. Such modernization, of course, is useful and necessary.
This is about something entirely different: the liquidation of a strong organizational structure, clear criteria for party membership, a common collectively developed program, binding revolutionary strategy and tactics, and in general decisions grounding the party in the working class, in working people, in the revolutionary youth and among oppressed women, in production enterprises and scientific institutions, and in the intelligentsia worn out by capital.
He also thinks joining this structure existing only in cyberspace should be slapdash - "no more difficult than joining other social organizations." This is a logical consequence of the destruction of a party once in political struggle against the capitalist system – a party consisting of real, like-minded people coordinated with each other. The party is downgraded to a loose, small electoral force primarily concentrating on the support of the election campaigns of the Democratic Party.
Sam Webb has still provided the remnants of a party. "Teams" will be traveling around as "meet and greet" and support groups.
This is nothing more than window dressing.
Does the U.S. workers' movement need such a party? I doubt it very much. But it has to decide for itself.
In any case, German Communists do not need it. Nor do we need an "open-ended and interesting" discussion of this plea for the end of Marxism-Leninism and the Communist Party.
We have better and more important things to do.

Dr. Hans-Peter Brenner, a psychologist and psychotherapist, is a member of the national leadership of the German Communist Party and co-editor of Marxistische Blaetter. This article appeared July 9, 2011 in Junge Welt, a Marxist daily newspaper published in Berlin. 
Translation by Bill Miller.

Letter from the CPM (Communist Party of Mexico) Regarding the Liquidationist Theses of a “Party of Socialism in the 21st Century” by Sam Webb

At the invitation of Joel Wendland, editor of Political Affairs, who made us aware of the essay by Sam Webb "A Party of Socialism or the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does," we state some opinions.
It seems to us that, in any rounded evaluation, this is not only an internal matter of the Communist Party of the USA, but poses questions of interest to the whole of the Communist movement.
We express our surprise at the unusual procedure of an "unofficial position," since leading cadres have responsibilities that cannot be avoided, much less the  General  Secretary or in this case the Chairman. Leading  cadres have a responsibility for the development of the party, for the history of struggle of the same organization, for the principles and the party program. They have a duty toward their comrades, although in this case is obvious that, beyond the fact that it is presented as an individual reflection, what Sam Webb brings is a set of theses that have as a goal the liquidation of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA).
An explanation is necessary before getting down to the matter at hand. Historically, the CPUSA and the Communist Party of Mexico (CPM) have had tight links, and not only because of the geographical  closeness.

Since its foundation the Mexican section of the Communist International included the cooperation of its US counterpart. This was an organizing and ideological collaboration that bore fruit, above all, in the years the workers' movement in our country was on the rise, in the 30's and 40's of the 20th century.

To a great extent, the opinions of the American Communists contributed positively. However, the influence of Browderism was deeply negative. Its reception in the CPM fed, just as in the USA, an opportunistic and liquidating course. The letter of Jacques Duclos helped the American comrades, and also the Mexican comrades in those years. The effects and consequence [of Browderism] were nevertheless of long duration. In the CPM, for example, the cells among the working class and trade unions were affected. Instead of prompting the building of the party, to maintain its class independence and autonomy, efforts alien to a Communist party were supported, such as the Socialist League and a multi-class party.

Nevertheless both parties made efforts to overcome such deviations, although elements remained under the surface.

Collaboration continued under McCarthyism; the CPUSA always counted on the determined solidarity of the Communists of Mexico.

In 1981 the CPM dissolved itself. Since 1994 work to organize the party of the working class, the Communist party, began again in our country. In the difficult years of the counterrevolution a focal point to maintain the Communist perspective, along with other Marxists-Leninists, was for us Gus Hall and, of course, his party. Gus Hall, like William Foster before, and other comrades of the CPUSA are for us exemplars of the Communist militant.

We followed closely the debate in the CPUSA in the years of the counterrevolution. The position that seemed to us erroneous was that of the group that splintered forming the Committees of Correspondence. The correct one was the  defense -- by the majority of CPUSA militants  --  of the class-oriented nature of the organization, of the struggle for socialism based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism.

With grave concern we have come to learn of activities that gradually have been dismantling the CPUSA, like the decision not to rely anymore on a printed press, the closing of bookstores, the delivery of party historical files to a bourgeois institution, the abandonment of spaces that were built along the years of struggle for peace, etc., etc. Politically, we never understood how can one defeat monopoly capitalism's aggression against the American working class and the working class and peoples of other countries by supporting, in name of isolating the "ultra right," Democratic Party  candidates, another facade of exploitation, war and militarism. But now we find a proposal of Sam Webb to finally modify the nature, the character of the CPUSA, transforming it into a new political party alien to the organizational and ideological basis of Communist parties.
First, the notion of "Socialism of the 21st Century" entails a position against the socialist construction in the 20th century, a rejection of the experience of the working class in power. For us this is a matter of an opportunistic notion, a source of confusion; but beyond that, it is important what Sam Webb configures as "A Party of the Socialism in the 21st century."

Relinquishing of the ideological basis, What does a Party of Socialism in the 21st century think?

It is stated that Marxism-Leninism should be abandoned. The arguments are not new. They have been refuted time and again. "Dogmatic", "foreign-sounding," “formulaic,” “state ideology." We do not forget the brilliant pages written by American Communists to unmask those condemnations, as much in theoretical works, as in the courts used against them by McCarthyism. They are the  same arguments that, in other moments, were raised against Marxism-Leninism by Trotskyism, by the New Left and by organizations and individuals that in their day were financed by the State Department. Why is it today that the Chair of the CPUSA ends by giving in to the rationale of the House Un-American Activities Committee?

The universal character of the ideology of the working class, since it was outlined by Marx and Engels, as well as the fundamental development by Lenin upon entering the monopoly phase of capitalism and upon being initiating the epoch of proletarian revolutions, cannot be refuted with the worthless claim that it is a “foreign,” “alien,” “antidemocratic” or “dogmatic” notion. As is outlined in other parts of his  essay, his discomfort with the concept  comes from the renunciation of the revolution and of the revolutionary road,  the party of a new type, of class analysis, with the renunciation of anti-imperialist struggle.

Sam Webb insists on the anti-Communist notions to justify his criticism of Marxism-Leninism and of socialist construction. He has no doubts about taking up the discourse that criminalizes the role of Stalin, just as the distorters of history that today intend to rewrite history by likening the role of the USSR with that of Nazi Germany.

And why is all this done? To please the non-governmental organizations, the liberal sectors of the Democratic Party. That is to say, not in service to the interests of the working class, but to those of  the petty bourgeoisie class.

Webb quotes various works of Marxists and, on that basis,  puts forth such a judgment. But Marxism-Leninism is not reduced to some selected works, but covers a lot more.

The renunciation of theory is the source of other erroneous ideological statements such as the proposal of "socialist regulated market," of a peaceful transition [to socialism],  the renunciation of revolution, as well as deep distortions of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the state.

Programmatic matter, What does a Party of Socialism in the 21st century do?
The questioning and intent to replace the ideology of the CPUSA is consistent with the objective to alter its political aim. Upon depriving the party of its revolutionary theory in favor of an eclectic mixture of petty bourgeois ideology, it prevents any revolutionary action. In fact he does not intend anything else.
Despite the fact that he affirms that his reflection has, as starting point that "...the reproduction of the conditions for exploitation of labor and nature appears to be reaching its limits" socialism remains a distant objective to be arrived only after passing an infinity of transition phases. The breaking point, the destruction of capitalist state, the seizure of power by the working class, in a word, the strategy, remains subordinated to tactics, to the alliance with sections of the bourgeoisie for, "it makes little sense to take on the entire capitalist class when it is not necessary", "...it is boneheaded to artificially hurry the political process along when pursuing such an option would likely result in defeat", because we can "...clear the ground for democratic, social, socialist transformations," etc.

Under any circumstances, at all stages, it is said, the way forward will be within the framework of bourgeois institutions,  not by a challenge to them.  Inasmuch as for  reformists it is a matter of stages overtaken by changes in the correlation of forces and alliances, what follows for them to define the current stage. And this stage is summarized in propping up Obama Administration on behalf of a "more worker-friendly environment" and with the goal of "defeating the ultra right."

And this, despite the fact that the Obama Administration not only continues and reinforces the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, but unleashes the intervention in Africa, despite the fact that all the measures adopted to manage the crisis have been in favor of the monopolies, despite the fact that the anti-immigrant policies continue, despite the fact that the same backwardness in social well-being continues for Latinos and African-American workers, despite the fact that our own class shows signs of disenchantment with the government, etc.
All this does not prepare the Communist Party for the ideological struggle. Rather, it prepares the Party to divert the working class, to turn it into the "left wing" of the Democrat Party.
His harshest condemning words are not for the enemies of the working class that represent the most frightening barbarism. No, they are for the followers of the revolution and those of who defend the experience of socialist construction in the 20th century.
All these ideas are neither new nor adequate. It is impossible to affirm that they have been born by reading and rereading Marx, Engels, Lenin and other classics. They are theses that have been raised in their time by the opportunists of the Second International, by the Eurocommunists and at present by the so called "New Left parties." Sam Webb already proposed to abandon the term "Leninism." He would have been more candid in regard to his program to ask also the abandon the term "revolution."
The allusions to a New Green Deal do not express only a yearning for a return to Roosevelt. They suggest, above all, praise of capitalist regulation, that is to say, to provide a capitalist way out of the deep crisis of the capitalist system. The New Green Deal of which he speaks in fact already forms part of the agenda of monopoly capitalist circles in the US. It not only justifies, ideologically, capitalism by endowing it with a green mask, by presenting new sacrifices for the working class as “done for the planet” and not for the maintenance of a parasitic stockholder class, that is to say, by assuring the general conditions for capitalist accumulation.
It also involves practical functions. It will give a way out to surplus capital in new areas of the market. In fact already economic movements exist by means of which the monopolies come to occupy these market segments, ousting small and medium capital. It will extract resources from the peoples by means of loans and taxes to be delivered to the monopolies in name of ecology. It will despoil the peasants, the native communities, the oppressed nationalities of their lands and of their resources, etc. Monopolies are seen to need to conjoin their crisis management with an industrial reconversion. All this industrial reconversion is a matter of extracting more surplus labor from the working class and of using more, and in a greater measure, the natural resources for the preservation of monopolies.
This programmatic bankruptcy, setting aside its desertion of the distinctive characteristics of a Communist party, resembles what was done by the Second International in its period of decomposition: gradualism, renunciation of the  revolution on behalf of reform, and justification of the capitalist mode of production.

Organization matter, What does a Party of socialism in the 21st century look like?

To this completely different objective corresponds a completely different type of organization.
Inasmuch as the question is not to oust a state but to win positions in it, not to attack the political forces of the bourgeoisie but to fortify one of its sections, since it is a matter of reformism, the revolutionary organization  can be fully abandoned.
Consistent with the idea that it is a "party that fights for the interests of the entire nation" the class-conscious composition of the party is attacked. Anyone can enter the party with a mere application procedure. Discipline is relaxed and its place comes to be occupied by liberalism. The Party is transformed into a NGO. Since the reforms and the participation in the capitalist state are not a means but the goal and the reason for being of this “Party of Socialism in the 21st century,” its efforts are not directed to the point of production to regroup an offensive of the workers against their oppressors, but to clubs of only virtual existence.

On the objective base for such approaches, Why is this proposal made?

One cannot compromise with this effort to liquidate the Communist Party of the United States. Saying that "it is only a mistake" would be a mistake and a crime, yes, a crime.
The opportunistic turn of the leadership of the CPUSA is not an exception to the theses of historical materialism, it   has an objective basis. This type of turn and deviation is to be expected in moments of growing difficulties for the bourgeoisie. They are moments of sharpening of the capitalist crisis of overaccumulation and overproduction; the periods of recovery are brief and weak, while the periods of stagnation and recession are long and deep. Capital can only manage to survive as capital by attacking ruthlessly the living and labor conditions of the working class. This sustained attack weakens and endangers the domination apparatus of the bourgeoisie, for which an objective basis exists to exercise ideological pressure on the working class and especially on its vanguard parties.
Already Lenin upon treating the theme of the working class aristocracy explains how the monopolies manage to corrupt and to bribe sections of the working class. Besides buying and bribing, monopolies resort to ideological pressure, to blackmail, to the distortion of reality, to the forgery of history, to demoralization. They try to isolate and to drown the revolutionary processes. If necessary they will resort to violence. This is the class struggle.
But at the same time that the imperialism puts in practice this ideological attack, the crisis also generates the contrary phenomenon. The events of recent years have put again the working class in the center of the class struggle. They have shown the need for the Communist Party and the validity and timelessness of Marxism-Leninism. The workers' and Communist international movement is fortified. A  clear pole of class-conscious forces is being regrouped.
Those who oppose this intent of liquidation of the CPUSA will not be found alone. We, in the Communist Party of Mexico, have complete confidence that the American Communists will defend their historic party, the CPUSA, that they will act to rescue it as they did in the postwar period from the false liquidationist theses of Earl Browder; as it was defended during the counterrevolution against the partisans of perestroika. What is more, in this task they will not struggle in solitude, for it is a duty of the Communists of other countries to undertake such a task.
One more point: the self-liquidation of the CPM left a void in the struggle for more than one decade. But politically that void will last longer, meaning the working class will confront its class adversary.in worse conditions . Such negative experience should not be repeated in the US.

Contrary to Sam Webb’s forecast, turbulent periods in the international class struggle, interimperialist contradictions, suggest on the horizon social revolutions led by the working class, as in the Paris Commune, as during the Great Socialist Revolution of October.

Workers of the world, unite!

For the Communist Party of Mexico

Pável Blanco, First Secretary

Diego Torres, International Relations Secretary

A propósito de las tesis liquidadoras del Partido del Socialismo en el Siglo XXI de Sam Webb

Atendiendo a la invitación de Joel Wendland, Editor de Political Affairs, quien hizo de nuestro conocimiento el ensayo de Sam Webb A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does, expresamos algunas opiniones, porque nos parece que en una evaluación global no se trata de un asunto interno del Partido Comunista de los EEUU, sino que aborda cuestiones que interesan al conjunto del movimiento comunista.

Expresamos nuestra sorpresa ante el procedimiento inusual de una "posición no oficial" ya que los cuadros de dirección tiene responsabilidades que no pueden eludir, mucho menos el Secretario General o en este caso el Presidente. Los cuadros de dirección tienen una responsabilidad con el desarrollo del partido, con la historia de lucha de la misma organización; con los principios y el programa; tienen un deber con sus camaradas; aunque en este caso es obvio que más allá de ser presentada como una reflexión individual lo que Sam Webb presenta es un conjunto de tesis que tienen por objetivo liquidar al Partido Comunista de los EEUU.

Antes de entrar en materia una aclaración es necesaria. Históricamente el Partido Comunista de los EEUU y el Partido Comunista de México tuvieron vínculos estrechos, y no solo por la vecindad geográfica.

Desde su fundación la Sección Mexicana de la Internacional Comunista conto con la cooperación de su par norteamericana. Esta era una colaboración ideológica y organizativa que rindió frutos sobre todo en los años de acenso del movimiento obrero en nuestro país, en los años 30 y 40 del siglo XX.

Mucho contribuyeron positivamente las opiniones de los comunistas norteamericanos, más también fue negativa la influencia del browderismo, cuya recepción en el PCM alimento, al igual que en los EEUU, un rumbo oportunista y liquidador. La carta de J. Duclos ayudo a los camaradas norteamericanos, más también a los camaradas mexicanos en esos años. Los efectos y la secuela fueron sin embargo de duración; en el PCM por ejemplo, fueron afectadas las células entre la clase obrera y los sindicatos; en lugar de impulsar la construcción del partido, mantener su independencia de clase, y su autonomía, se apoyaron esfuerzos ajenos al partido comunista, tales como la Liga Socialista y un partido pluriclasista.

Ambos partidos sin embargo hicieron esfuerzos por superar tal desviación, aunque elementos de ella permanecieron latentes.

La colaboración continuo bajo el macartismo; el PC de los EEUU conto siempre con la decidida solidaridad de los comunistas de México.

En 1981 fue autodisuelto el PCM; desde 1994 se reinicio un trabajo por organizar al partido de la clase obrera, al partido comunista en nuestro país. En los difíciles años de la contrarrevolución un referente para mantener la perspectiva comunista, al lado de otros marxistas-leninistas, fue para nosotros Gus Hall y por supuesto su partido. Gus Hall, como antes William Foster, y otros camaradas del PC de los EEUU son para nosotros ejemplo del militante comunista.

Con mucha atención seguimos el debate en los años de la contrarrevolución de lo que ocurría en el PC de los EEUU, las posiciones que nos parecían erróneas del grupo que se escindió formando los Comités de Correspondencia y la defensa correcta de la mayoría de los militantes del PC de los EEUU de la naturaleza de clase de la organización, de la lucha por el socialismo basada en los principios del marxismo-leninismo.

Con mucha preocupación tomamos conocimiento de actividades que gradualmente van desmantelando al PC de los EEUU, como la decisión de no contar ya con prensa impresa, el cierre de sus librerías, la entrega de sus archivos históricos a una institución burguesa, el abandono a su suerte de espacios que fueron construidos a lo largo de los años para luchar por la paz, etc, etc. Políticamente jamás comprendimos como se puede derrotar la agresión del capitalismo monopolista a la clase obrera norteamericana y contra los trabajadores y pueblos de otros países apoyando, en nombre de aislar a la "ultraderecha", a los candidatos demócratas, otra fachada de la explotación, de la guerra y el militarismo.

Pero ahora nos encontramos con una propuesta de Sam Webb para modificar definitivamente la naturaleza, el carácter del PC de los EEUU transformándolo en una nueva formación política ajena a las bases ideológicas y organizativas de los partidos comunistas.

En primer lugar la noción del "socialismo del siglo XXI" encierra una postura contra la construcción socialista en el siglo XX, un rechazo a la experiencia en el poder de la clase obrera. En lo que ha nosotros respecta se trata de una noción oportunista, fuente de confusiones; pero más allá, es importante lo que Sam Webb configura como "Partido del Socialismo en el siglo XXI".

Renuncia a las bases ideológicas, ¿Qué Piensa un Partido del socialismo en el siglo 21?

Se expresa que marxismo-leninismo debe ser abandonado. Los argumentos no son nuevos y han sido refutados una y otra vez. "Dogmatico", "extranjerizante" de formulas acartonadas, ideología estatal; no olvidamos brillantes páginas de los comunistas norteamericanos para desenmascarar esas descalificaciones, tanto en trabajos teóricos, como en los tribunales frente al macartismo; mismos argumentos que en otros momentos fueron levantados en contra del marxismo-leninismo, por el trotskismo, la nueva izquierda y por organizaciones e individuos en su día fueron financiados por el Departamento de Estado. ¿Por qué hoy el Presidente del PC de los EEUU termina por dar la razón al Comité de Actividades Antiamericanas?

El carácter universal de la ideología de la clase obrera desde que fue esbozada por Marx y Engels, así como los fundamentales desarrollos de Lenin, al entrar el capitalismo en la fase monopolista y al iniciarse la época de las revoluciones proletarias no pueden refutarse con la futilidad de que es una noción ajena, extranjera, antidemocrática o dogmatica. Como esboza en otras partes de su ensayo la incomodidad del concepto deviene de la renuncia a la revolución y al camino revolucionario, al partido de nuevo tipo, al análisis de clase, a la renuncia a la lucha antiimperialista.

Sam Webb insiste en las nociones anticomunistas para justificar su crítica al marxismo-leninismo y la construcción socialista. No duda en asumir el discurso que criminaliza el papel de Stalin, al igual que los deformadores de la historia que hoy pretenden reescribirla equiparando el papel de la URSS con el de la Alemania nazi.

¿Y todo para qué? Para agradar a las organizaciones no gubernamentales, a los sectores liberales del Partido Demócrata, es decir, no en función de los intereses de la clase obrera, sino de los de la pequeña burguesía.

Webb mismo cita varios trabajos marxistas y sobre ellos emite tal juicio; pero el marxismo-leninismo no se reduce a unas cuantas obras seleccionadas, sino que abarca mucho más.

La renuncia a la teoría está en la fuente de otras afirmaciones ideológicas erróneas como la propuesta del "mercado socialista regulado", de la transición pacífica, y la renuncia a la Revolución. Así como profundas deformaciones sobre la teoría marxista-leninista del Estado.

El tema programático, ¿Qué hace un Partido del socialismo en el siglo 21?

El cuestionamiento e intento de substituir la ideología del CPUSA es consistente con el objetivo de alterar su objetivo político. Al despojar al partido de su teoría revolucionaria, a favor de una mezcla ecléctica con ideología burguesa, imposibilita cualquier actuación revolucionaria. De hecho no pretende otra cosa. Pese a que afirma que su reflexión tiene como punto de partida el que "las condiciones para la reproducción de la explotación del trabajo y la naturaleza están agotadas" el socialismo queda como un objetivo lejano al cual se llega por una infinidad de etapas de transición. La ruptura, la destrucción del Estado burgués, la toma del poder por la clase obrera, en una palabra la estrategia, quedan subordinadas a la táctica, a la alianza con secciones de la burguesía pues "no tiene caso confrontarse con su totalidad cuando no hay perspectivas de triunfo", "es de cabezas duras querer acelerar el proceso", "una nueva apertura democrática tiene lugar en la actualidad", etc.
Bajo cualquier circunstancia, en todas las etapas se dice, la vía para avanzar será en el marco de las instituciones burguesas y no sobre su cuestionamiento. En tanto se trata para los reformistas de etapas que son superadas por cambios en la correlación de fuerzas y alianzas lo que sigue para ellos es definir la etapa actual. Y la etapa actual se resume en apuntalar la administración de Obama en nombre de un "ambiente más amigable para la organización obrera" y con el objetivo de "derrotar a la ultraderecha".
Y esto lo dicen pese a que la administración Obama no solo continúa y refuerza las guerras de Afganistán e Iraq, sino que desata la intervención en África, pese a que todas las medidas adoptadas frente a la crisis han sido a favor de los monopolios, pese a que continúan las medidas anti inmigrante, pese a que continúa el mismo rezago en la seguridad social, para los trabajadores de origen latino, afroamericanos, etc., pese a que la propia clase tiene muestras de desencanto con el régimen, etc. No se prepara para la lucha ideológica al Partido Comunista con esta propuesta, sino se le prepara para desviar a la clase obrera, para volverse el "ala izquierda" del Partido Demócrata. Sus condenas más duras no son para los enemigos de la clase obrera que representan la más espantosa barbarie, no, para los partidarios de la revolución y defendemos la experiencia de construcción socialista en el siglo XX.
Todas estas ideas no son ni nuevas ni adecuadas. Tampoco es posible que se diga que surgen de la relectura de Marx, Engels, Lenin y otros clásicos. Son tesis levantadas en su momento por los oportunistas de la II internacional, por los Eurocomunistas y actualmente por los llamados "partidos de nueva izquierda". Sam Webb ya propuso abandonar el término "Leninismo", hubiese sido más transparente en cuanto al programa pedir también el abandono del término "revolución".
Las alusiones sobre un Nuevo Trato Verde no expresan solo el anhelo a que regrese Roosevelt, indican sobre todo la apología de la regulación capitalista, es decir de dar salida capitalista a la crisis profunda del sistema capitalista. El New Deal verde del cual se habla, y que de hecho forma parte ya de la agenda de los círculos del capital monopolista de los EEUU no solo justifica ideológicamente al capitalismo al dotarle de una careta verde, al presentar nuevos sacrificios para la clase obrera como hechos para el planeta y no para el mantenimiento de una clase parasitaria de rentistas, es decir asegurar las condiciones generales para la acumulación capitalista, sino que cumple funciones prácticas.
Le dará salida a capitales excedentes en nuevas áreas del mercado, de hecho ya existen movimientos económicos mediante los cuales los monopolios pasan a ocupar estas franjas del mercado, desalojando a los pequeños y medianos capitales. Les extraerá recursos a los pueblos mediante los empréstitos y los impuestos para ser entregados a los monopolios en nombre de la ecología. Despojará a los campesinos, las comunidades indígenas, las nacionalidades oprimidas de sus tierras y de sus recursos, etc. Los monopolios se ven en la necesidad de acompañar la gestión de la crisis con un reconversión industrial. Toda esta reconversión industrial se trata de extraer más trabajo excedente a la clase obrera y de disponer en mayor medida de los recursos naturales para la preservación de los intereses monopolistas.
Esta bancarrota programática, exclusiva de la deserción de las características distintivas de un partido comunista, se asemeja a lo preconizado por la II Internacional en su periodo de descomposición: gradualismo, renuncia a la revolución en pro de la reforma y justificación del modo de producción capitalista.
El tema organizativo, ¿Cómo es un Partido del socialismo en el siglo 21?
A este objetivo totalmente distinto corresponde un tipo distinto de organización. Como se trata no de derrocar un estado sino de ganar posiciones en el, no de atacar a las fuerzas políticas de la burguesía sino de fortalecer a una de sus secciones, como se trata de reformismo bien puede abandonarse la organización revolucionaria. En concordancia con la idea de que es un "partido que lucha por los intereses de la nación entera" se atenta contra la composición clasista del partido, cualquiera puede ingresar a la organización con un mero trámite. La disciplina se relaja y su lugar viene a ser ocupado por el liberalismo. El Partido se transforma en una ONG. Siendo las reformas y la participación en el Estado burgués no un medio sino el objetivo y la razón de ser de este Partido del Socialismo en el siglo XXI sus esfuerzos no se dirigen a los centros de producción para reagrupar una ofensiva de los trabajadores contra sus explotadores sino en clubes de existencia meramente virtuales.
Sobre la base objetiva para tales planteamientos, ¿Por qué se lanza esta propuesta?
No se puede transigir con este intento de liquidar al Partido Comunista de los Estados Unidos. Decir que se trata solamente de un error sería un error, y uno criminal, si criminal.
El viraje oportunista de la dirección del PC de los EEUU no es una excepción a las tesis del materialismo histórico, tienen una base objetiva. Es de esperarse este tipo de virajes en momentos de crecientes dificultades para la burguesía. Son momentos de agudización de la crisis capitalista de sobreacumulación y sobreproducción, sus periodos de recuperación son breves y débiles mientras los periodos de estancamiento y recesión son largos y profundos. El capital solo logra sobrevivir como capital atacando despiadadamente las condiciones de vida y laborales de la clase obrera. Este ataque sostenido pone en peligro el aparato de dominación burgués, por lo cual existe una base objetiva para ejercer presión ideológica sobre la clase obrera y especialmente sobre sus destacamentos de vanguardia.
Ya Lenin al tratar el tema de la aristocracia obrera explica como los monopolios logran corromper y sobornar a secciones de la clase obrera. Además de la compra y el soborno, los monopolios recurren a la presión ideológica, al chantaje, a la deformación de la realidad, a la falsificación de la historia, a la desmoralización, intentan aislar y ahogar a los procesos revolucionarios, inclusive de ser necesario recurrirán a la violencia. Esto es la lucha de clases.
Pero al mismo tiempo que el imperialismo pone en práctica su ataque ideológico la crisis también genera el fenómeno contrario. Los acontecimientos de los últimos años han vuelto a poner en el centro de la lucha de clases a la clase obrera, muestran la necesidad del Partido Comunista y la vigencia y actualidad del Marxismo-Leninismo. El movimiento obrero y comunista internacional se fortalece, un claro polo de fuerzas clasistas está reagrupándose. Quienes se opongan a este intento de liquidación del PC de los EEUU no se encontrarán solos. Nosotros, en el Partido Comunista de México, tenemos confianza en que los comunistas norteamericanos defenderán su partido histórico, el PC de los EEUU, que sabrán rescatarlo como en la posguerra lo hicieron de las ilusorias tesis liquidacionstas de Earl Browder; como fue defendido durante la contrarrevolución frente a los partidarios de la perestroika; más aún que esa tarea no la enfrenaran en soledad, pues es deber de los comunistas de otros países comprometerse en tal tarea.

Una cuestión más: la autoliquidación del PCM dejo un vacio en la lucha de más de una década pero que políticamente se extenderá por un tiempo mayor, permitiendo que la clase obrera enfrente en peores condiciones a su adversario de clase; tal experiencia negativa no debe repetirse en los EEUU.

Al contrario de la previsión de Sam Webb, periodos agitados en la lucha de clases internacional, contradicciones interimperialistas, esbozan en el horizonte a revoluciones sociales dirigidas por la clase obrera, como en la Comuna de Paris, como durante la Gran Revolución Socialista de Octubre.

¡Proletarios de todos los países, uníos!

Por el Partido Comunista de México
Partido Comunista de México Comité Central
April 16, 2011