In pointing out the need to combat the distortions of Marxism-Leninism, we have left aside the question of the specific nature of these distortions. With this material we want to clarify, briefly explaining what revisionism is, what its characteristics are, and how revisionism differs from Marxism.
The Main Features of Revisionism
We have already mentioned that revisionism is essentially an ideology alien to the proletariat, masquerading under the ideology of Marxism-Leninism in order to undermine it from within, in order to neutralize the revolutionary energy of the working class, to put this energy into a channel safe for the bourgeoisie, to direct the proletariat on the wrong path, on the path of natural defeats.
Why does revisionism need this cover? Joseph Stalin wrote about it in 1926 in his work “Once More on the Social-Democratic Deviation in Our Party”:
“…our workers positively refuse to listen to avowed opportunists and consequently, “revolutionary” camouflage serves merely as a decoy to attract the attention of the workers and to win their confidence for the Opposition.
Our workers cannon, for example, understand why it has never entered the heads of the British workers up till now to take such traitors as Thomas and throw them down a well and drown them. (laughter.) Everyone who understands our workers would realize that the lives of opportunists like Thomas would be positively intolerable among our workers, and yet the British workers not only do not drown traitors like Thomas, but even re-elect them to the General Council and not only simply re-elect, but elect them demonstratively.
Clearly, such workers do not require to have opposition camouflaged in the form of revolution, they do not object to taking it ungilded”.
We have also mentioned that revisionism has its class roots in the pressure of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology on the most unstable and wavering ranks of the proletariat. And as long as capitalism exists, revisionism is the natural and — with the inaction of the Communists – the inevitable outcome of this pressure.
“The pressure of the bourgeoisie and its ideology upon the proletariat and upon its Party results in bourgeois ideals, morals, habits, and moods, not infrequently penetrating into the proletariat and its Party through the medium of certain strata of the proletariat connected in one way or another with bourgeois society”.(ibid)
But what is the difference between revisionism and Marxism-Leninism? By what criteria can we understand that this is not Marxism-Leninism, but its distorted version?
First of all, it is the absolutization of one of the sides of development. What is the meaning of this statement? By studying dialectical materialism, we learn that development involves two interrelated moments: continuity (graduality) and discreteness (discontinuity).
That is, in simple terms, any process of development passes through the stages of gradual (evolution) and abrupt change (revolution). This is the dialectical unity of the two opposing tendencies underlying the process of development.
Applying this law to reality, to the social movement, we see the interaction of these moments: “jumps” are replaced by periods of progressive development, which, in turn, lead to new qualitative “jumps” and so on.
However, revisionists tend to think otherwise. Right-wing opportunists see in all kinds of partial changes (political and economic), in reforms, in individual improvements, the implementation of socialism. They deny the moment of abrupt development, hoping to achieve socialism by gradual evolution, the gradual “deepening” of reforms up to the destruction of the capitalist system through its smooth transformation into socialism.
Left revisionists on the contrary, denying any gradualism in development, rely solely on “jumps”, on the revolutionary struggle, on the irreconcilable action by which — and only by which, – it is possible and necessary to overturn the capitalist system, in one fell swoop ” jumping” into socialism.
Thus, metaphysical one-sidedness is characteristic of both right-wing and ultra-left revisionists, who distort Marxism-Leninism in their own way.
“…certain individuals or groups constantly exaggerate, elevate to a one-sided theory, to a one-sided system of tactics, now one and now another feature of capitalist development, now one and now another “lesson” of this development.
Bourgeois ideologists, liberals and democrats, not understanding Marxism, and not understanding the modern labour movement, are constantly jumping from one futile extreme to another. At one time they explain the whole matter by asserting that evil-minded persons “incite” class against class—at another they console themselves with the idea that the workers’ party is “a peaceful party of reform”. Both anarcho-syndicalism and reformism must be regarded as a direct product of this bourgeois world outlook and its influence. They seize upon one aspect of the labour movement, elevate one-sidedness to a theory, and declare mutually exclusive those tendencies or features of this movement that are a specific peculiarity of a given period, of given conditions of working-class activity. But real life, real history, includes these different tendencies, just as life and development in nature include both slow evolution and rapid leaps, breaks in continuity.
The revisionists regard as phrase-mongering all arguments about “leaps” and about the working-class movement being antagonistic in principle to the whole of the old society. They regard reforms as a partial realisation of socialism. The anarcho-syndicalists reject “petty work”, especially the utilisation of the parliamentary platform. In practice, the latter tactics amount to waiting for “great days” along with an inability to muster the forces which create great events. Both of them hinder the thing that is most important and most urgent, namely, to unite the workers in big, powerful and properly functioning organisations, capable of functioning well under all circumstances, permeated with the spirit of the class struggle, clearly realising their aims and trained in the true Marxist world outlook”. (Vladimir Lenin, Differences in the European Labour Movement, 1910)
The second criterion of revisionism is dogmatism and doctrinarianism. What do we mean by this? Marxism-Leninism is not a religion with unshakable dogmas, true at all times and in any situation. Marxism-Leninism gives the workers a tool to know and change reality, but it is necessary to be able to use this tool.
It is necessary, armed with the Marxist method and applying a concrete historical approach, to be able to conduct an adequate analysis of reality, to see its basic contradictions, to understand how these contradictions relate to the class interests of the proletariat, and on this basis to build a particular practice.
Unfortunately, most often those who call themselves “Marxist-Leninists” do not bother to consider any phenomenon in the development and relationship with other phenomena and, faced with a particular situation, to solve it mechanically by applying the provisions of Marxism-Leninism without taking into account the prevailing conditions, referring usually to some “historical analogies”, covered by the authority of the classics.
It is this mechanical device that is rightly called dogmatism and doctrinarianism. This dead schematic approach, which consists in the ability to substitute at the right time the “right” quote, contradicts the living Marxist-Leninist method because it cannot be used to perceive life correctly, it is impossible to see its constant changes, it is impossible to give the working class the right tactics and strategy of struggle.
It is worth noting that the revisionists themselves often use attacks on “dogmatism” and “doctrinaire” to cover their own opportunism. Seeking to defend themselves against just criticism, the revisionists accuse all those who do not accept their “specific”, “creative” version of Marxism-Leninism of dogmatism and doctrinarianism, of leftism and sectarianism.
It was under the slogans of the “struggle against dogmatism” that the Mensheviks waged a relentless struggle against the Bolshevik faction; under the same slogans in the period following Stalin’s death, the revisionists purged the Communist parties in the USSR, China, North Korea, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary of genuine Marxist-Leninist elements, and also in the countries of the capitalist West and East, embarked on the path of continuous “de-Stalinization”.
And today all sorts of advocates of “renewal” and “creative development” of Marxism, apologists for the “adaptation” of Marxism-Leninism to certain new conditions of existence, never tire of accusing “dogmatists” and “sectarians” who are unable to appreciate the ingenuity of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois thinkers who try to deprive the proletariat of its ideology through the distortion of Marxism-Leninism, through the destruction of its revolutionary essence.
As has already been pointed out, the right bias is characterized by a desire purely for an evolutionary, peaceful, safe (for the bourgeoisie) path of development of socialism.
Lenin, referring to the question of the right essence of the second international, perfectly and very succinctly outlined the main features of right opportunism:
“Advocacy of class collaboration; abandonment of the idea of socialist revolution and revolutionary methods of struggle; adaptation to bourgeois nationalism; losing sight of the fact that the borderlines of nationality and country are historically transient; making a fetish of bourgeois legality; renunciation of the class viewpoint and the class struggle, for fear of repelling the “broad masses of the population”(meaning the petty bourgeoisie)—such, doubtlessly, are the ideological foundations of opportunism”. (Vladimir Lenin, “The Position and Tasks of the Socialist International”, 1914)
Often all these features are combined in a single ideological line of the right, but much more often revisionists, seeking to obscure their true essence, combine separate elements of bourgeois and proletarian ideology, which actually lead to the destruction of the proletarian ideological line and its replacement by the non-proletarian line.
Right wing revisionism flourishes most vividly in an era of revolutionary calm, when the tension of the revolutionary struggle subsides and it is replaced by harsh and gray everyday life:
“The transition itself from upsurge to lull, by its very nature, increases the chances of danger from the Right. Whereas an upsurge gives rise to revolutionary illusions and causes the Left danger to become the principal one, a lull, on the contrary, gives rise to Social-Democratic, reformist illusions and causes the Right danger to become the principal one. In 1920, when the working-class movement was on the upgrade, Lenin wrote his pamphlet “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder. Why did Lenin write this particular pamphlet? Because at that time the Left danger was the more serious danger. I think that if Lenin were alive he would now write another pamphlet entitled Right-Wing Communism, an Old-Age Disorder, because, at the present time, in the period of lull, when illusions about compromise are bound to grow, the Right danger is the most serious danger”. (Joseph Stalin, “The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia”, 1925)
It is at such moments of slowing down the revolutionary process that the right strengthens its position, in an effort to keep the working class from moving forward, taking the bourgeoisie out of grasp, emasculating Marxism-Leninism, depriving it of its revolutionary essence.
For example, in the era following the heat of the Second World War the Communist parties of Italy and France — the largest in Western Europe, which played leading roles in the anti-fascist resistance, – as a result of the strengthening of right-wing tendencies, proclaimed absolute fidelity to the “constitutional principles” of bourgeois democracy.
During this period, the PCI and PCF began to pursue an “open door policy”, seeking to transform into mass Parties and be able to compete with the bourgeoisie in the legal parliamentary struggle. It is clear that this aspiration could not but come into conflict with Marxism-Leninism, clearly indicating the avant-garde character of the working class party, unequivocally denying the possibility of dissolving the avant-garde in the working class itself.
The rate of Togliatti and Thorez (General Secretary of ICP and PCF, respectively) could not but lead to separate ideological “compromises” in the name of achieving mass parties, which could not but lead to the abandonment of the class point of view, to the abandonment of all illegal forms of struggle, and finally to the abandonment of the revolutionary path to socialism.
The logical development of these parties, which have staked exclusively on legitimate forms of class struggle within the framework of bourgeois democracy, led to the birth of the so-called “Eurocommunism”. Thus, the right deviation naturally led to the formation of an openly anti-Communist and counter-revolutionary current that triumphed in the Communist parties of Western Europe in the late 60s.
Another, more subtle form of reformism is the trade unionist course, taken again in the postwar years by the Scandinavian Communist parties, which became in fact the political Annex of the trade Union movement.
Putting the struggle for the betterment of the working class through the removal of legal obstacles at the forefront, adoption of various laws on protection of workers, organization of trade unions, the Scandinavian Communists, strange as it may sound, actually contributed to the demoralization of the proletariat, the spread of reformist sentiments among the working class, the suppression of the revolutionary energy of the masses.
One-sided emphasis on the full development of the labour movement through the vicious policy of “cooperation” and a “United front”, led to the complete subordination of the ideological line of the Communist parties of Scandinavia to social democracy, effectively blurring the border between them.
As a result, the exclusive “care” for the workers, one-sided support for the economic struggle of the working class, coupled with the oblivion of the political and ideological struggle (first of all — against social-democratic and reformist illusions) turned the Scandinavian Communist parties into bourgeois workers parties, that is, into workers parties that have abandoned their class ideology.
Thus, in the second half of the 20th century there was a paradoxical situation: with the most powerful organized labor movement in the world, the Scandinavian bourgeoisie, through the mediation of the Social Democrats and their ideologically subordinate Communists, completely eliminated for the time being any revolutionary danger. How did they do it? The capitalists temporarily sacrificed a small part of their super profits, allowing them to build a “welfare state”, that is, to establish the now rapidly fading class “harmony” between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
An even more “talented” form of right-wing revisionism can be called all sorts of “national deviation”, which, on the one hand, are trying to adapt proletarian ideology to the nationalist policy of the bourgeoisie, and on the other hand – to withdraw part of the national bourgeoisie from attack, to preserve its actual domination, that is, to prevent the seizure of political power by the working class and to slow down the class struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. The nationalist deviation reflects the attempts of the so-called “national” bourgeoisie of a country to undermine the revolutionary movement, to reduce its successes to a minimum.
At the same time, all sorts of “national evaders” do not tire of talking about the revolution and socialism, about the proletariat and the struggle against capitalism, but in reality, they all pursue a clearly counter-revolutionary anti-proletarian policy.
The main ideological support of these revisionists is the exaggeration of some “national specificity” of a country, which prevents the consistent construction of socialism, forcing compromises with part of the national bourgeoisie, abandoning the class interests of the proletariat. The result of such a “cunning” strategy of class cooperation is the perpetuation of capitalism under the “revolutionary” flag, chauvinism and total disorientation of the working class.
The most egregious example of following the path of “original national socialism” is the work of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States, Earl Browder, who, demagogically used the principles of the anti-fascist tactics of the popular front, put forward by the Comintern at a particular moment in history. From the beginning of the 1940s he began to preach the ideas of “peaceful existence” of capitalism and socialism, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, supposedly able to cooperate in the name of a common goal.
Further, putting forward the idea of “American socialism” corresponding to certain “American traditions” of bourgeois democracy, Browder in early 1944 explicitly declared the U.S. party of the working class unnecessary, stated the need to dissolve the Communist party and create in its place a broad “cultural and educational Association”, “non-partisan organization of Americans, continuing the traditions of Washington, Jefferson, Payne, Jackson and Lincoln”, the main purpose of which was to conduct “political training” of the masses.
By dividing the American bourgeoisie into “monopoly” and “non-monopoly” sectors, Browder deduced the need for an “anti-monopoly coalition”, in the framework of which the working class, “non-monopolistic” layers of the bourgeoisie and even part of the financial capital will lead the fight against the monopolistic sector. Having thus erased all class contradictions, having renounced the necessity of destroying the bourgeois state, Browder called for the creation of a “people’s party” of an “anti-monopoly” orientation, which was to struggle to bring monopolistic capital under the control of the masses, to force it to act for the benefit of the whole society within the framework of the “normal functioning of the capitalist system”.
It is not surprising in this regard that Browder also supported the imperialist course of Washington. In Earl Browder’s reasoning, the economic expansion of the United States (into Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe through the “Marshall Plan”) turned into altruistic aid, into the redistribution of the surplus of the most powerful capitalist giant in favor of the peoples of the world and their development.
Despite the fact that Browder in June 1945 was exposed and condemned as a right-wing revisionist, and the U.S. Communist Party was restored, his views had a powerful impact on the international Communist movement.
First of all, thanks to the influence of American Communists in Latin America (at the expense of the previously functioning Caribbean Bureau of the Comintern), the plague of “Browderism” in one way or another struck absolutely all the Communist parties of the continent, pushing them on the path of class cooperation with the “progressive” layers of the national bourgeoisie in the framework of the “national path to socialism”.
In Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Cuba, the situation came to the dissolution of local Communist parties and the creation on the basis of amorphous “people’s” parliamentary parties in the spirit of Browder.
The bold anti-Communist demarche of Browder, the leader of the most powerful Communist party of the Western hemisphere, inspired revisionist figures of the old world. The most enthusiastic Browderist schemes were met by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain — the right-wing revisionist Harry Pollitt, who in 1945, in the pamphlet “Answers to questions” fully agreed with the provisions of “Browderism” on the unity at the moment of the interests of “all progressive strata of the nation, both proletarian and capitalist”, on the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism, on the “progressiveness” of state-monopolistic capitalism.
Portrait of Harry Pollitt
Pollitt’s affairs were not at variance with his views: he was one of the first to express support for the new labour government, which pursued an openly imperialist and anti-Communist policy. He was also one of the initiators of the dissolution of the factory cells of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the transition of the party structure on the territorial basis adopted in the typical bourgeois parties. He strove with all his might to continue the tactics of “cooperation” between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie adopted during the war and consisting in the temporary abandonment of strikes.
It is not known what would have ended the initiatives of Pollitt, if in 1945 Browder would not have been exposed. However, the resounding defeat of “Browderism” did not lead to the defeat of the British right-wing revisionists, who just timidly took a step back, retaining responsible positions.
The same Harry Pollitt remained General Secretary of the CPGB until 1956, when he, after the suppression of the Hungarian counter-revolutionary revolt, defiantly resigned, then taking the no less honorable place of Chairman.
After the defeat of Browder, right-wing “national deviators” somewhat subsided by the overcoming of the nationalist revision of Marxism-Leninism in the Communist parties. In 1948, at a meeting of the Cominform, the question of a “specific”, “national” path to socialism was again raised, when the policy pursued by Josip Tito’s clique in Yugoslavia was defeated.
Renunciation of the class struggle against the capitalist elements of the city and the countryside and regulation based on the peaceful resolution of contradictions between the exploiters and the exploited within the framework of the “specific Yugoslav situation” was supplemented by Yugoslavia’s openly chauvinistic and aggressive policy towards socialist Bulgaria and Albania.
As the struggle for the purity of Marxism-Leninism weakened right-wing revisionists with their “national ways”, with their ideals of class cooperation and peaceful means of achieving socialism strengthened more and more, they finally won a leading position in the world Communist movement both within the socialist camp (Gomulka in Poland, Gheorghiu-Dej in Romania, Kadar in Hungary, Mao Zedong in China, Kim Il-sung in North Korea), and in the parties of capitalist countries (Togliatti in Italy, Thorez in France, Carrillo in Spain, Aidit in Indonesia, Ghosh in India e.t.c.).
Using the slogans of “national specificity” the revisionists of various countries, no matter what the real national characteristics, aimed at one goal – to intimidate and confuse the working class through the spread of defeatist and pacifist sentiments, to the weakening of the class struggle of the proletariat, to the substitution of the class interests of the proletariat for the interests of the bourgeoisie.
The ultra-left deviation, in contrast to the right, is characterized by an emphasis exclusively on “jumpy”, rapid development, development through lightning-fast “assault and onslaught”, giving the same rapid results.
Denying any possibility of peaceful gradual development of the revolutionary process, calm creation of prerequisites for a successful “leap”, measured work to strengthen the conquests of the working class, the ultra-left demand an immediate “assault on the heavens”, regardless of the real situation. Adventurism, impatience, active dissent, shouting and sectarianism are the main features of ultra-left organizations.
In fact, the ultra-left deviation stems from the same social assumptions as the right: this is the pressure of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois elements on the most unstable proletarian elements. And his goals are exactly the same – the disorientation of the working class, the defeat of the revolutionary movement, the reduction of its activities to a series of unpromising measures.
What, then, is the fundamental difference between these two types of revisionism?
“The difference is in their platforms, their demands, their approach and their methods.
If, for example, the Rights say: “It was a mistake to build the Dnieper Hydro-Electric Power Station,” and the “Lefts,” on the contrary, declare: “What is the use of one Dnieper Hydro-Electric Power Station, let us have a Dnieper Hydro-Electric Power Station every year” (laughter) , it must be admitted that there obviously is a difference.
If the Rights say: “Let the kulak alone, allow him to develop freely,” and the “Lefts,” on the contrary, declare: “Strike not only at the kulak, but also at the middle peasant, because he is just as much a private owner as the kulak,” it must be admitted that there obviously is a difference.
If the Rights say: “Difficulties have arisen, is it not time to quit?” and the “Lefts,” on the contrary, declare: “What are difficulties to us, a fig for your difficulties—full speed ahead!” (laughter), it must be admitted that there obviously is a difference.
There you have a picture of the specific platform and the specific methods of the “Lefts.” This, in fact, explains why the “Lefts” sometimes succeed in luring a part of the workers over to their side with the help of high-sounding “Left” phrases and by posing as the most determined opponents of the Rights, although all the world knows that they, the “Lefts,” have the same social roots as the Rights, and that they not infrequently join in an agreement, a bloc, with the Rights in order to fight the Leninist line”. (Joseph Stalin, Industrialisation of the country and the Right Deviation in the C.P.S.U.(B.), 1928)
It is also necessary to point out that the very concept of “left” or “ultra-left” — conditionally; only characterizes a certain specific approach used by revisionists, but not a principled political position.
“Leninism is the most Left (without quotation marks) trend in the world labour movement. We Leninists belonged to the Second International down to the outbreak of the imperialist war as the extreme Left group of the Social-Democrats. We did not remain in the Second International and we advocated a split in the Second International precisely because, being the extreme Left group, we did not want to be in the same party as the petty-bourgeois traitors to Marxism, the social-pacifists and social-chauvinists.
It was these tactics and this ideology that subsequently became the basis of all the Bolshevik parties of the world. In our Party, we Leninists are the sole Lefts without quotation marks. Consequently, we Leninists are neither “Lefts” nor Rights in our own Party. We are a party of Marxist-Leninists. And within our Party we combat not only those whom we call openly opportunist deviators, but also those who pretend to be “Lefter” than Marxism, “Lefter” than Leninism, and who camouflage their Right, opportunist nature with high-sounding “Left” phrases.
Lenin referred to the “Left Communists” as Lefts sometimes with and sometimes without quotation marks. But everyone realises that Lenin called them Lefts ironically, thereby emphasising that they were Lefts only in words, in appearance, but that in reality they represented petty-bourgeois Right trends”. (Joseph Stalin, Industrialisation of the country and the Right Deviation in the C.P.S.U.(B.), 1928)
We can support this statement directly with historical facts. Throughout the 20th century, the so-called “ultra-left”, which, it would seem, should defend positions opposite to the right, at certain moments they closed with right-wing revisionists, “supplementing” their “ultra-revolutionary” “Marxist-Leninist” doctrines with quite right-wing provisions.
For example, the so-called German left Communists, who were active during the revolutionary upsurge in Germany in 1918-23, openly denied the role of the party of the working class in the revolutionary process, betting on the workers Soviets, which seem to be able to independently take the fullness of political and economic power into their own hands and lead society to communism. Thus, the ultra-left, under the revolutionary slogans of “the struggle against any dictatorship”, deprived the working class of its political vanguard, blinded it, preached spontaneity, actually weakening the proletariat, by nullifying its revolutionary energy, and consequently assisting the bourgeoisie in maintaining its political supremacy.
Many years later, during the so-called Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong sang the same odes to spontaneity, who was convinced that the “revolutionary youth”(not even the working class) alone, without any party leadership, is able to understand who is the enemy of the revolution and who is not.
From the same series of “anti-party” ultra-left variations of Marxism, we can highlight the “operaismo”, especially strengthened in Italy in the 70’s on the wave of disappointment of the ardent working youth in the right-wing reformism of the Italian Communist Party.
Nor are the ultra-left alien to the ideas of “cooperation” between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie; here, the apotheosis of “solidarity” can be called the idea put forward by the unforgettable Mao about the decisive role of the countries of the so-called “Third world” in the fight against imperialism and capitalism. Declaring the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America oppressed by imperialism as the vanguard of the revolutionary struggle, Mao thus abandoned the class point of view, moving to the position of bourgeois geopolitics, considering the world not through the prism of the relationship of classes, and making thoughtful conclusions based on the analysis of the degree of economic development and the territorial location of certain countries.
Moreover, by lumping together the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, ranting about the abstract “third world countries” that are “the great driving force pushing the wheel of history forward”, Mao thereby preaches class reconciliation, social peace between the oppressors and the oppressed of these very countries, subordination of the interests of the proletariat to the interests of the bourgeois groups at the helm, chauvinism and hatred of the equally abstract “first world”, as if one in itself, and not divided into antagonistic classes, just as this ever-memorable “Third world” itself.
In an even more inadequate spirit was the well known far-left theorist of revolutionary violence, Frantz Fanon, who not only contrasted abstract “colonies” and “metropolises”, but in general he agreed to the denial of the revolutionary role of the working class as a” bourgeois ” privileged part of African society. In Fanon’s opinion, who is to replace the decayed and corrupt working class, who should be at the forefront of the revolutionary process? The lumpen-elements of the city and the poorest peasantry, which ideologically, — the Marxist Fanon does not mention this at all, — gravitate towards the bourgeoisie, and without the leadership of the working class are incapable of any genuine social revolution.
It must be said that the denial of the historical role of the working class is characteristic of most of the ultra-left deviations of the second half of the 20th century. With exactly the same reasoning as that of Fanon we may meet with in Regis Debray, who allegedly summarized the experience of the Cuban revolution and presented to the public the tactics of the “guerrilla hearth” (foci) . In unison with Fanon, Debray argues about the disastrous development of any struggle in the city simply because the city residents (read, workers) – are effeminate and decayed elements, not interested in revolution. The alternative to these timid capitulators can only be the peasants, the main base of the anti-imperialist revolution, passing into the socialist revolution.
Che Guevara, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Rohana Wijeweera and other ultra-left theorists and practitioners of the relatively undeveloped countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America had the same hopes for the peasantry (especially the poorest peasantry) as the main social class of the revolution. Meanwhile, in industrial Europe, the ultra-left also refused to see the proletariat as a revolutionary force (for the same far-fetched reasons of its “decay”). Instead of the working class, such prominent theorists as Marcuse, Dutschke, Gorz, as well as their numerous interpreters, pushed forward students, intellectuals, lumpen and marginals, migrants; in short, anyone else, just not the working class.
Denial of the leading role of the working class party in the revolutionary process, the nationalist course, the veiled preaching of unity between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie: all of these elements can be seen in all the ultra-left ideological models that took shape during the twentieth century.
Everywhere the publicly declared relentless and radical struggle against the bourgeoisie actually led to the strengthening of this very bourgeoisie; to the weakening of the proletariat through adventurist actions and the rejection of party leadership. To the strengthen the dominance of the ideology of bourgeois or petty bourgeois nationalism; to the disorientation of the working class through the struggle against genuine Marxist-Leninist principles, through the preaching of political pluralism and the same “broad left” under the guise of unbreakable and unprincipled unity of all radical social forces.
Thus, we can understand the main characteristics of both right and left revisionism, the essence of which is the one-sided development of any one tendency in the labor or political movement, in the veneration of it as the only true and absolute tendency.
This path inevitably leads to the oblivion of the class interests of the proletariat, inevitably leads to the collapse of the political organization of the working class, and inevitably leads to the degeneration of the Communist movement.
Marxism-Leninism does not accept any deviation and tendencies within itself. Marxism-Leninism is not a loose social democracy expressing the interests of the various strata of the nation, that allows for various political deviations that reflect the aspirations of these strata and tries to “reconcile” them with the tactics of centrism.
Marxism-Leninism is the worldview, ideology and philosophy of the proletariat as a whole and any deviation from it, — though to the left, though to the right, — must be regarded solely as a bourgeois deviation, as the bourgeoisie’s desire to destroy the monolithic ideological unity of the working class, the desire to disorient the working class, to put it on the wrong path to nowhere.