zaterdag 27 december 2008

Fighting opportunism to beat revisionism

I started my analysis, in English, about revisionism here with « Revisionism, the bourgeoisie inside the communist movement. (1) ». The title of that series of articles was inspired by the following quote of Ludo Martens, effective leading the Workers Party of Belgium until 1995:"After socialism is been destroyed in the Soviet union en the explosion of the country of Lenin, all communists has to understand that revisionism is the most dangerous ideological enemy of Marxism-Leninism. It’s beyond any doubt that revisionism represents the bourgeoisie inside the communist movement[1]"

It is my opinion that I can prove that there is a development of revisionism in the international communist movement. That development of revisionism is based on and is using certain existing opportunist conceptions (in different communist parties). In some parties the revisionist line has become the main line in that party. At this moment this is the case of the once revolutionary Workers Party of Belgium. This was possible because the leading cadres succeeded (through different mechanisms, I will discus in later articles) in putting in the mind of the majority of the members, a conception of "Marxism" or "scientific socialism" which is in fact metaphysics and idealism formulated in "Marxist phraseology". That kind of leading cadres, perhaps once entered the party on revolutionary conceptions, on a certain moment positioned themselves on bourgeois class-point of view. Those cadres could mask their conceptions with Marxist phraseology easily, because they had often an encyclopaedic knowledge of publications, articles and books of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong.
I analysed of what I named revisionist conceptions, in a text produced by a cadre of the WPB, Peter

I conclude that first series of articles Revisionism, the bourgeoisie inside the communist movement. (1- 7)- you can click from one article to the other) with some general working-methods of revisionism.
There is an IDEA, a CONCEPTION, and a POLICY that has to be to «proven» with a «Marxist» analysis that it is a historical fact, a consequent Marxist conception or a socialism stimulating policy. Those IDEAS, CONCEPTION, or POLICY are IN FACT anti-revolutionary, protecting the existence of capitalism and a policy of dismantling al the results of socialism. To give those ideas, conceptions or policies a « Marxist » apology, quotes of Marx, Engels, Lenin and also of Stalin and Mao Zedong are founded where they SEEMS to says exactly what the revisionists propose. General conclusions of Marx and others are for them concrete and specific proves of the correctness of the policy in a specific situation, totally different of the situation where the GENERAL conclusion is been made. Or a specific policy, to solve specific problems in a specific situation is « proven » to be exactly the same as the in fact antirevolutionary and capitalism protecting policy of the revisionist leaders. Therefore they use also the anti-Marxist conception of exact analogue situations in historical progress. The goal is to mislead party members and condemn, with chosen quotes of Marx and others each policy, each initiative of other party-cadres with still revolutionary ambitions to take steps towards revolution, or to strengthen to power of the working class, or to take steps to further building socialist plan economy and to diminish the still existing influence of capitalist commodity-production as « left », « sectarian » or « utopian socialism ».
To convince other party members, the revisionists made use of existing weakness of knowledge of Marxism, and existing forms of opportunism as dogmatism, empirism. They promote among the militants a spirit of militant ACTIVISM, which results in political suivism.

I will prove this with concrete analysis of the developments in the Workers Party of Belgium. In fact I began with this in a second series of articles, « About revisionism » (with the first one beginning here). I said that I want to make my analysis of the development of revisionism based on the concrete example of the Workers Party of Belgium in such a way that communists not member of the WPB but member of communist parties of other regions in the world can make their own opinion about my analysis.
That is the reason that I began with the revisionism in the analysis that cadres of the WPB made of the socialism in
China. That is a subject where about each communist or communist organization can get information and mostly have their own analysis.
I started then with an analysis of a text (that you can read here, in french) that Boudewijn Deckers wrote. (You can read this beginning with this article) Boudewijn Deckers was after Ludo Martens the highest cadre in the WPB and before that in AMADA (Alle Macht Aan De Arbeiders -All Power to the Workers)

I see Ludo Martens as the protagonist of the revolutionary and real Marxist line in the WPB.

For me, Boudewijn Decker has become the protagonist of the revisionist line that developed inside the WPB.

On this very moment, in 2008, I say that by the work of the revisionist fraction (mostly leading cadres of the WPB) the WPB has become a REFORMIST party, a party that is working in the bourgeoisie legality and with a reformist program. It has been possible because of the lack of vigilance of the majority of the members. (I will indicate why and how later) Another example is the Socialist Party (SP) of the Netherlands, once the Communist Unity Movement (KEN-ML).The difference between the WPB and the SP is that the WPB, but only formal (and to position herself electoral between other « left » parties in Belgium) still claim that she based herself on Marxism and that her ultimate goal (somewhere in a far future) is socialism as a step to communism. You can follow in that series my comment on Boudewijn Deckers’ « Marxist » analyze of the socialism in China.

But for the good understanding of my analysis, I gave then (starting here) an example of how revisionism works and how revisionists ABUSE Marxism or the scientific socialism and spread IDEALISM and METAPHISICS under Marxist phraseology.
I used therefore the text of the Chinese economists of the CCP, I spoke about in my email (read here) to Boudewijn Deckers, leading cadre of the WPB. The text itself you can read here. To give (only) an example of the manner of arguing of revisionists I give some quotes out of this text.

I interrupted then my analysis of the development of revisionism using the example of Boudewijn Deckers, leading cadre of the WPB. Although it is a concrete example, it is an example in the perhaps rather unknown (and most of all of his INTERN contradictions) little communist party of a little country; I began than (starting here) to analyze the development of revisionism in the CCP with the concrete example of Deng Xiaoping. Because every-one can then better judge if my analyze is correct or not, because everyone can find al information and historical facts about the CCP and Deng Xiaoping.
My meaning is that
People or organisations, who now defend socialism in China (against the political and ideological attacks out of the imperialist world) but not making an analysis from and not fighting (political and ideological) against the revisionism in the CPC, are, as I see it, no Marxists, communists or revolutionaries (nor as individual nor as organisation).
Individuals or organisation like that, are by THEMSELVES contaminated by revisionism.
This MUST have repercussions on their OWN political, ideological and organisational work in their OWN region, where someday they will have to mobilise and lead the working masses to revolution.

Sympathisers with the socialist peoples republic of China can perhaps give positive facts that prove that China is STILL socialist, which is the reason that China deserves solidarity but also lie under the attack of pro-capitalist forces in the world. They try to give OTHER information. This is a good and necessary thing to do.
But I am fighting those who defend the authentically Marxist character of the economical policy actual in
China and are claiming that socialism has been strengthened since 1978. Particularly when they are cadre in a, or representing a communist organisation. They are, I think; from the same calibre as Kautsky opposed by Lenin and named by him as « renegade ».
I will prove all this, being in fact the main goal of my analysis of the actual revisionism.
I want to prove now (being the next step in my analysis from the ACTUAL revisionism in the international communist movement) that the line of the CPC since 1978 is the OPPOSITE of the line of that same CPC before the dead of Mao Zedong.
All what the CPC was fighting against (with indeed a big contribution of Mao Zedong but ALSO what concerned the conceptions of Deng Xiaoping which he defended AT THAT TIME) is after 1978 becoming a part of the political line of the CPC!
Summarizing (and that is indeed simplifying) I think that you can say that de line of the CPC since 1978 is going back to the revisionist line that Liu ChaochI (in the years ‘50s) defended, in OPPOSITION with the line of Mao Zedong. You can see the official line of the CPC as the result of the struggle between two lines (the revolutionary line and the bourgeois/revisionist line), and therefore is reflecting a temporary outcome of that struggle.
(You can click here to the chronology of my articles analysing revisionism)

But now I interrupt (temporarily) also the analysis of the texts of Deng Xiaoping. I want first work on reactions I got from some militants of the WPB, militants that I knew and that I worked with. They are convicted communists, but at the same time they differ with me about the actual character of the WPB. For them the actual political, ideological and organizational line of the WPB is still revolutionary. For them the line from the 8th congress in 2008 conforms to the line on the 5th congress in 1995. (You can here read an overview of the reactions of those comrades of earlier days)
I had also a little discussion about revolutionary line for a communist party with a member of Free Road Socialist Organization (USA). (You can read about my reaction on an article on his weblog and his answers on my reactions here on his own weblog)

To be able to discuss with those comrades about if there is or not a real problem of opportunism (and I think there is, at least by those comrades still member of and active in the WPB, and I think that those comrades are not aware of that opportunism themselves) and to be able to discuss if in that opportunism (when it is not beaten)lies the danger of emerging revisionism (and the WPB of Belgium and the SP of the Netherlands are for me « negative teachers »of that), I will now first analyze the congress documents of the 5th congress of the WPB (in 1995).

I am now translating in English (in which I am not expert) the book « Party of the Revolution » (you can read here the regularly updated file, as my translation progress, of that book here) which is an elaboration of the texts proposed, amended and then voted on the 5th Congress of the WPB in 1995 (Workers Party of Labor, Partij Van De Arbeid van België (in Dutch) or Parti du Travail de Belgium (in French). It was a congress in which I participate as a delegate. This book proves -as I see it now, but I didn’t saw or noticed it then - that a revisionist line developed NEXT TO a revolutionary line in the WPB from that moment (in 1995). They were not in struggle because the revolutionary line itself was not free of opportunism. The knowledge of using scientific socialism as method of analyze was weak. There existed by a lot of members (by me also at that moment!) a dogmatic conception of Marxism (or scientific socialism) and so without weapons to discover the core of revisionism in the WPB. The revisionists were cadres that were respected in the party because they were authorities in the domain of Marxist analyze and because they were a part of the group that started AMADA, the communist organization out of which the WPB was founded. They used consciously this kind of « Marxism » to give their revisionist line credibility in the WPB. Ludo Martens, in fact FORMALLY president of the WPB until February 2008, where on the 8th Congress Peter Mertens (being part of the revisionist fraction) was elected, was after the 5th Congress, no longer leading the WPB. Although he wrote a lot about the danger of revisionism and even a sort of self critic about earlier dogmatism («Maoism») that the WPB developed, his writings had no more the authority of « official party document that each member had to study, to discuss in his base group and to assimilate ».
I think that the documents of the 5th congress of the WPB contain lessons and warnings for other communist organizations how that a revisionist line can emerge, can develop and can become the leading line, transforming a revolutionary party into a reformist party. It’s analyze you can start reading here.
I will afterwards continue all analysis that I interrupted.

[1] "About certain aspects of the struggle against revisionism", Ludo Martens in Marxistische Studies no 29, march 1996, (see, a discussion report on the International Seminar in Janashakti, India organised by the PCI(ML)

[2] That text that is been put on the website of the Workers Party of Belgium,, on thursday, 17 November 2005, 12h40, "Contribution to the International Symposium held in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, 13 - 15 October - Friedrich Engels and scientific socialism in contemporary China". (you can read this text here)

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