Compass Home Page         _____________ March 1996, No. 122


By Domenico Savio

(Translated from 'L'Uguaglianza' (Equality))

"Before we  can  unite, and  in order  that we  may  unite,  it is
necessary first of all, resolutely and deliberately, to draw lines

of demarcation" (Lenin)


       In this connection, it is first necessary to clarify the question of who are the opportunists and revisionists who seek to divert the national and international movement from its objectives of destroying capitalism and building communism in the world. They are born and live as a result of the selfish, exhibitionist, careerist, pseudo-democratic bourgeois culture and are supported by the class enemy in order to divide, weaken and divert the communist movement from its historical mission. Today, as in the past, the opportunists and revisionists are those who are against the establishment of consistent Marxist-Leninist Communist Parties, against the establishment of a new Communist International based firmly on Marxist-Leninist principles.

       After the death of Stalin, the whole socialist world fell into the clutches of revisionism, masquerading as 'modernised, democratised Marxism-Leninism'. This led to the termination of the first large-scale historical experience of socialism. The role of revisionism like that of Nikita Khrushchev in the USSR is not to run capitalist society; that is a task which can be performed much better by the parties of the bourgeoisie. The role of revisionism in a pseudo-socialist country is to distort the society in such a way as to alienate the working people and prepare the ground for overt capitalism. In China, Vietnam, North Korea and Vietnam, a market economy -- that is, a basically capitalist economy -- is in existence beneath false red flags, and soon the revisionist governments in power there will have to be replaced by overt capitalist governments, as in Russia.

       Before the fall of state revisionism in the former socialist countries of Europe, all the revisionist forces -- parties, organisations and newspapers --orientated themselves on the policy and strategy of the USSR. Now that this reference point has gone, they draw closer to the North Korean and Cuban brands of revisionism, which are actively seeking to influence the international communist movement, particularly its newly-born sections. We have seen the first example of this new revisionist activity in the so-called 'Declaration of Pyongyang' of April 1992 -- a declaration of political compromise and ideological confusion. We took a critical stand on this declaration in an article in 'Equality' of 14 June 1992. Three years later, in May 1995. a seminar on The Unity of the International Communist Movement took place in Brussels, organised by the Party of Labour of Belgium, which submitted its own programmatic document. Of 80 parties and organisations which signed the Pyongyang Declaration, only 16 participated in the Brussels seminar, but 40 new ones joined irk making a total presence of 56 organisations. These reflected very diverse forces revisionist, social-democratic, nationalist and Marxist-Leninist. The ideological diversity of these participating organisations was immense and irreconcilable, with a substantia! majority of revisionist (including Maoist) organisations. This made it impossible for anything positive to emerge.

       The main revisionist presence in Brussels was represented by the 'Party of Labour of Korea', the Italian 'Movement for Peace and Socialism', the Maoist 'Communist Party of the Philippines', the 'Communist Party of Cuba', the Mexican Democratic Front Emiliano Zapata', etc. This massive revisionist presence greatly affected the proceedings and conclusions of the seminar.

       The representative of the Party of Labour of Korea praised the revisionist 'Juche' ideas of Kim il Sung and his son Kim Jong il, and declared that the Pyongyang Declaration was a programme 'to strengthen international unity' -- making clear that the Korean revisionists aim to exert a dominant influence upon the reorganisation of the communist movement -- perhaps replacing the role of the former revisionist USSR. The representative of the 'Communist Party of the Philippines' sang praises to 'Mao Tse-tung Thought' and "its decisive role in unifying the international communist movement".

       The final document issued by the Brussels seminar reflects the political and ideological confusion of the gathering. While claiming to base itself on 'Marxism-Leninism', it fails to draw Marxist-Leninist political and organisational conclusions. It puts on an equal historical level the assessment of the work of Stalin and of Mao Tse-tung, so arbitrarily confusing Marxism-Leninism with revisionism! Incredibly, it asserts that each party may apply Marxist-Leninist principles 'according to its convictions', and that this does not conflict with international communist unity! And it ends up in an absurd and shameful manner by placing on an equal footing in the struggle against revisionism: Stalin, Hoxha, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Kim il Sung and Che Guevara! It arranges to meet those who endorse this final document at a new seminar in Brussels in 1996; it charges the PLB with the formation of a co-ordinating body and with the publication of a theoretical magazine. It is a document that fully reflects the anti-Marxist-Leninist intentions of today's opportunists and revisionists who pollute the current communist movement in the various countries and at the international level. The most detestable, and most intellectually dishonest, aspect of the declaration is that, while it makes use of Marxist-Leninist terminology in order to deceive those who read it, it is in fact submerged in the most impudent revisionism. Marxist-Leninists in each country have the revolutionary duty to unmask this disgraceful trickery before the masses and before history in order to advance, consistently and firmly, the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism which alone can guide society forward to socialisrn and communism.

       Clearly, the revisionists are working to reorganise themselves at an international level around the leading revisionists of Korea, China and Cuba. The Marxist-Leinist forces, on the other hand, are weaker in numbers and economic resources, are more dispersed . They have had to begin from scratch, from where Lenin and Stalin began at the beginning of the century, with the building of the revolutionary press and the revolutionary party, moving towards the refounding of a Marxist-Leninist International. They must draw the correct lessons from the painful setbacks of this century so as to ensure that never again are revisionists able to undermine and destroy the power of the working class, repeating the role played by Trotsky, Bukharin, Khrushchev, Gorbachev and company.

       There is no short cut to the rebuilding of the international communist movement by compromise with revisionism. As Lenin said:

"Before we can unite and in order that we may unite, it is necessary,
first of all, resolutely and deliberately to draw lines of demarcation".

       The forces which must unite, organise and work together in this task of rebuilding of the international communist movement are only those forces which are genuine Marxist-Leninist forces. Let us hope that the International Congress in Ischia (Naples) in December 1995 on the thought and work of Friedrich Engels will provide the opportunity to begin the process of unifying all consistently Marxist-Leninist forces of the world.

Editorial Note: The above article was written in July 1995. As forecast by the author, at the Ischia meeting in December it was decided to launch an international Marxist-Leninist journal with an international editorial board headed by Comrade Domenico Savio.