Our Stand on the Formation of an Intemational
Organisation of the Proletariat
The Central Committee releases this document to guide our Party regarding the formation of an International Organisation of the Proletariat together with the Revolutionary Parties and Organisations of various countries, in the present conditions.
This would be a proposed draft for discussion with the Parties of various countries to form an International Organisation of the Proletariat
CC, CPI (Maoist), February 2017
The proletariat is an international class. It is the most revolutionary class. It can liberate itself only by accomplishing the mission of emancipating the Whole of humanity, a world task to be carried out through leading the world socialist revolution to success by smashing the imperialist system and all reaction and thus advancing to communism.
This forms the basis for the need of an international organisation of the proletariat.
Recognising this, the founders of Marxism paid attention to build up such organisation. Marx and Engels played a major role in establishing the First International and guiding the Workers parties and gave the Workers of various countries an internationalist outlook and camaraderie through their clarion call: “Workers of the World Unite”. The task faced by Marx and Engels in the 1“ International was mainly that of fighting against petty bourgeois ideologies, supporting the Worker's movements, establishing the scientiﬁc ideology of the proletariat, forming unity between the Workers and the worker‘s organisations and summarising the experiences of the Worker’s movements and revolutions. They also paid attention to studying the particular problems and conditions in different countries and offered their advice. Engels directly participated in the German revolution.
When the Paris Commune raised the flag of revolution they immediately did all they could to build solidarity with it and mobilise support. Thus Marx and Engels formed the First International and led it to prepare the proletariat theoretically, politically and organisationally to continue revolutionary attack on the Capital with the objective to achieve Socialism in the International level.
In the later period, Marx formed the Second International and formulated a program according to the changed conditions of the World Proletarian movement. Engels played a similar role in the 2”“ International. The Z“ International was built at a time when Marxism became broadly accepted as the ideology of the proletariat and Marxist parties (then known as Social Democratic parties) and organisations were being built in most countries of Europe. This organisation played an important role in spreading Marxism widely and building parties and other organisations of the proletariat and in the building of proletariat movement, with the aim of establishment of Socialism in the International level.
Yet the right trend succeeded in seeing that no formal international centre of the organisation was set up. This continued for twelve years, thus allowing rightist trends in the member parties to continue unchecked. Till his death Engels tried to fill in this gap by maintaining a regular correspondence, giving guidance to parties in various corners of the globe. Though there were leaders and forces of the revolutionary camp in these Parties, opportunist, revisionist leadership was dominant. The deviation of leading parties and important theoreticians of the 2“d International from Marxism increased. And when the most important test came in the form of the inter—imperialist 1“ world war, almost all of them abandoned Marxism. They sank into the worst forms of opportunism and revisionism. Proletarian internationalism was replaced with service to the bourgeoisie of ‘one’s own country.’ The objective and subjective basis of this degeneration were analysed and sharply exposed by Lenin. He related the growth of revisionism and opportunism in the 2“ International to the transition of capitalism into imperialism, the super—profits it extracts from the colonies and semi—colonies, its ability to bribe a section of the working class in the capitalist countries who turn into a labour aristocracy, and the consequent split in the working class. He further pointed out how the 2“d International remained stuck in the frame of the pre—imperialist period and failed to grasp the strategical and tactical implications of the new situation arising from the advent of imperialism.
The 3”‘ International, Communist International (Comintern) was formed. The First Clause of the Constitution of the Third Communist International formed in the leadership of Lenin after the Russian Revolution stated its task — ‘The Communist International — the International Workers’ Association — is a union of Communist Parties in various countries; As the leader of World Communist Party, activist of the World Revolutionary Movement of the proletariat and as a guide to the principles and aims of Communism, the Communist International strives to lead the majority of the working class and the broad strata of the property less peasantry, fights for the establishment of the world dictatorship of the proletariat, for the establishment of a World Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, for the complete abolition of classes and for the achievement of socialism — the first stage of Communism’.
Russian Soviet Republic was established in the condition when Monopoly Capitalism took the form of imperialism. With this a new era in the history of the world — the era of revolutions where there was iberation from wage slavery and a transformation to a genuine freedom — started. The basic ideological and political orientation for the Comintern formed in this situation had already been put forward by the Bolshevik party led by Lenin. With the victory of the Russian revolution this orientation gained widespread acceptance and paved the way to the founding of the Comintern. The Comintern took Marxism to all the four corners of the world in various forms. The proletarian movement truly became an international one. Communist parties were founded in the colonies and semi—colonies. The parties in the Comintern organised the masses and stood in the van of struggles in both the imperialist and oppressed countries. They organised and led revolutions. Thus Comintern provided the correct theoretical perspective and political guidance to the proletariat movements, the anti—imperialist national liberation movements. It extended help and cooperation to these movements in various forms and mustered support.
In view of the debacle of the 2”“ International the organisational structure of the Comintern was seen as a concretisation of firm ideological, political positions, like that of a party. It was conceived as the ‘world party of the world proletariat’. The Executive Committee (EC) of the Comintern had the powers of a Central Committee and the different parties were subordinate to it. The EC took upon itself the authority to formulate strategy and tactics of the revolution in different countries and sent its emissaries to direct the parties in its implementation. This inevitably led to bad results, at times even disastrous. In view of such experiences in the course of the Chinese revolution, the Chinese communist party welcomed the dissolution of the Comintern during the 2“°‘ World War. Some have failed to see the genuine reasons underlying this approach and wrongly criticised it as ‘nationalism’.
The CPC was very conscious of the problems caused by external interventions. It resisted such tendencies from the CPSU led by Stalin who later self—critically admitted that they had given such wrong advice. Under Krushchev the projection of the CPSU as an international centre was taken to extreme levels and relations with other parties was handled in a very bureaucratic and patronising manner. Those parties that refused to toe its increasingly revisionist line were sought to be isolated. This harmful approach on the relations between parties itself became a subject of criticism in the polemics waged by the CPC under Mao’s leadership against Krushchev revisionism. It cautioned the international communist movement against such wrong concepts like ‘father party’. In its relations with other parties, the CPC took extreme care not to impose its views. It preferred to offer its experiences not as criteria but as reference material and stressed that every party must base itself on its own understanding, analysis and lessons gained from practice in the respective countries.
After the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 the communist parties continued to play their internationalist role through bilateral and multi—lateral relations and initiatives. The Cominform was formed in the wake of the Z“ World War, with the participation of parties from the new socialist states of East Europe and the CPSU. In 1957 and 1960 two important international conferences of communist parties were convened. But the international proletariat has been without an international organisation for the past seven decades. Despite this, while socialist countries were existing, one or the other party has in effect played the role of a leading centre. The CPSU and later the CPC had this position. Their views were held as authoritative by other parties.
If we examine the whole course of the international communist movement we can see that at different periods one or the other party has been in a leadership position, regardless of Whether this was formally recognised or not. Thus in the First International, the Trade Union leaders of the .. countries played an important role. Even in the 2“ International the Gennan party’s views enjoyed more weight and influence, eventhough organisationally all the proletariat Parties and Organisations were equal. The same was true of the CPSU (B) in the Comintern. This is a reflection of the uneven development of the international communist movement in accordance with the advance of revolution in this or that country or the deviation of a party into revisionism or liquidation. As pointed out by the CPC in its polemics against Krushchev revisionism, “. . .the vanguard position ... does not remain unchanged for a long time but shifts according to changing conditions. This shift is decided not by the subjective Wishes of any individual or party, but by the conditions shaped by history. If conditions change, other parties may come to the van of the movement. When a party which formerly held the position of vanguard takes the path of revisionism, it is bound to forfeit this position despite the fact that it has been the largest party and has exerted the greatest influence”.
The leading position of one or the other party in the ICM emerged from the objective fact that these parties had at certain junctures been the most advanced in their theory and practice and thus served as guides for the rest of the movement. This is not in itself a bad thing. On the contrary, the advanced should lead. The problem arises when this is taken in an absolute manner, as an unchanging status, rather than as a service rendered by a contingent of the international communist movement in a period or specific juncture of its development. Engel’s very correctly drew attention to this danger — “...for the present moment the German Workers form the vanguard of the proletarian struggle. How long events Will allow them to occupy this post of honour cannot be foreseen. But as long as they are placed in it, let us hope that they will discharge their duties in the proper manner...In the ﬁrst place, however, it is necessary to retain a real international spirit which permits of no chauvinism, which joyfully greets each new step of the proletarian movement, no matter in which nation it is made. If the German workers proceed in this way, they may not march exactly at the head of the movement — it is not in the interest of the movement that the workers of one country should march at the head of all—but they will occupy an honourable place on the battle line, and they should stand armed for battle when other unexpected grave trials or momentous events demand heightened courage, heightened determination, and the will to act.”
There is a further problem. As we know, despite the different approach taken by the CPC under the leadership of Mao, and its insistence that, “In the present international communist movement, the question of who has the right to lead whom simply does not arise. Fraternal parties should be independent and completely equal, and at the same time they should be united. On questions of common concern they should reach unanimity of views through consultation, and they should concert their actions in the struggle for the common goal.” Its views and positions were considered as the final word by most of the new Marxist—Leninist parties that emerged in the 1960s. This shows us the other side of this problem. Unless the individual parties grasp the vital importance of taking their own bearings while shouldering the task of leading the revolution in their countries they will inevitably fall prey to blindly following one or the other party. A metaphysical approach of seeing only the positive achievements and not seeing drawbacks and limitations, not keeping in mind the particular conditions in which the successes were obtained and whether this has been possible in new conditions, in other words an uncritical attitude to the successful Parties, underlies this state of affairs. This in turn hampers the creative application of lessons learnt in the concrete conditions of one’s own country.
If this becomes general, even without an organisation, an informal centralisation will emerge. This may be reﬂecting a vanguard role of a party in the ICM achieved on the basis of correct ideological and political positions and practice. But all the same it has the effect of organisational centralisation also without an organised venue for the exchange of views and struggle over ideas.
In fact this was the situation that existed in the international communist movement that emerged through the Great Debate. The CPC supported the revolutionary Marxist—Leninists in all countries, assisted them and rendered all possible service to the world revolution. Even while carrying out its internationalist duties it had opposed taking up the task of forming a new International. It declared, “In their mutual relations, each fraternal party maintains its independence and at the same time unites with all the others. Here, the relationship in which the minority should submit to the majority does not exist, and still less so the relationship in which a lower Party organization should submit to a higher one. The only way to deal with problems of common concern to fraternal Parties is to hold discussions and reach unanimous agreement in accordance with the principle of consultation.” Yet, it was in effect considered as an international centre, regardless of its views on this matter.
After the Dengist coup in China, those parties that continued to uphold MLM felt the need for international ties and some form of organisation to address this. Various initiatives were seen in the decades that have passed. They range from very loose co—ordinations to the more centralised structure of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). The RIM had an elected committee that was charged with the task of acting as an embryonic political centre, guided by commonly adopted positions. While most of the co—ordinations became dysfunctional after some time, the RIM continued to function relatively consistently over a span of slightly more than two decades. The role of the Committee of the RIM (CoRIM) is no doubt significant in this. Under its leadership the RIM played a leading role in popularising the lessons of the people’s war in Peru and Nepal. It played a major role in the adoption of Marxism—Leninism—Maoism by the international Maoist movement and has also aided the formation of new Maoist parties in some countries. The RIM played a positive role at critical times, such as the unfortunate episode in the relations between the erstwhile MCC and PW. On the other hand, CoRIM became arrogant with the subjective assessment that it is absolutely correct. With its sectarian trends it created obstacles to the International Maoist movement. As we understand, this not only affected relations with other Maoist parties but caused problems within the RIM itself. Its sectarianism was manifested in a wrong attitude of deciding relations with parties solely on the basis of whether or not they accepted its Declaration. In view of the fact that the leadership of the Protracted People’s War of India are not member Parties of RIM and that it was not in the frame of People’s War it formulated, it bore a negative attitude towards these in various forms. It was negative towards the independent attitude and the independent effort of CPI(ML)[PW], later the CPI (Maoist) regarding Proletarian Internationalism. As a result it publicised the revolutionary struggle of its constituents only and ignored those of others with a sectarian perspective even when they were making significant advances. It had a bad position on the unification process that led to the formation of our party. And it has given bad advice and tried to impose this on the participant parties of the RIM. It accommodated parties that were stagnating and away from revolutionary practice for decades together. The metaphysical, dogmatic, sectarian theoretical and political weaknesses that continued in the leadership of RIM since the beginning, is the main reason for such severe mistakes. This obviously raised questions on its claim to be an ‘embryonic political centre’.
In view of the overall role played by the RIM, a summation of its experiences has great importance. This must also include a review of its ideological, political positions as seen in its Declaration and later Resolutions.