Marxism-Leninism, ideological ground for our communist parties, the revolutionary theory of the working class, is sustained on Dialectic Materialism, Historic Materialism and Political Economy. It seeks to extract what is more general to reality by studying historical developments, production modes, class struggle, and social regularities, the laws that rule change and revolution.
Particularities, specifics, should be taken into account thus creatively enriching Marxism-Leninism; however they cannot be determinant on approaches, on analysis.
With the argument of withdrawing from dogmatism and from alienated analysis of reality, a call to crossbreed Marxism is made, repeating the academicism’s critique that assume as its goal to dissociate Engels from Mark and Lenin from Marx. Some parties in Latin America –and precisely the Communist Party USA is considering it right now- are withdrawing themselves from Leninism, which, they state, applies only to particularities in Russia and to another historical period. In reality, this represents renouncing Marxism’s revolutionary stances, and it is untenable from a theoretical point of view. It is also a source of political deviations that lead to “movementism” and denaturalize the Party’s purpose and the working class’ role.
The so called latin-americanization (tropicalization) of Marxism has a lot in common with previous corrupting operations, such as Santiago Carrillo and the euro-communists, and the “western Marxism”. Since it openly rejects Dialectic Materialism and dictatorship of the working class, it directs an attack against the history of communist parties.
It is remarkable that some communist parties are assimilated uncritically to those positions and they promote them, for example, when embracing distribution of “Ocean Sur” Publishing, of trotskyist origin, whose catalogue is predominantly composed of works that attack the socialism built during the 20th century and disseminate criticism of Marxist-Leninism calling it “the Soviet State ideology”, all this concealed under the promotional publishing of materials related to the Cuban Revolution.
Some essential elements of Dialectic Materialism, such as philosophical atheism, are avoided, under the influence of currents like the liberation theology.
From the same source comes the argument of Marxism being Eurocentric; but the eclectic hybridization with a mystical guise results in raising latinoamericanism as a tour de force.
There is no interest in re-editing the Classics, only in spreading these modern deformities, whose creators would be placed among folklore if contained within college faculty, but in fact they exert significant influence in the core of some communist parties. Weakness in the ideological front, and a limited development of research and scientific theoretical works from a classist point of view, have taken several communist parties by surprise with this ideological smuggling of those who attack Marxism posing as Marxists. Not too long ago, we had an example of this with the case of H. Dieterich, one of the ideologues of the “21st Century’s socialism”, who used to be featured in several communist publications.
Ideological deviations, eclecticism, unjustified emphasis on specificity, are at the heart of new revisions of Marxism.
Another negative element is the one that leaves aside all the general laws of revolution, appealing to the “originality” of previous and current social developments. A basic premise of the international communist movement, proven since the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, is the character of the era, which we identify as the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, the era of transition from capitalism to socialism; we consider that the temporary prevalence of counter-revolution does not alter this basic premise.
Programmatically, opportunism introduces a debate and a strategy about this transition that offset the tasks of the working class and its communist party. What is the argument? Mainly after the victory of the Chinese Revolution, Mao Tse Tung’s statement about bourgeoisie’s inner contradictions and the existence of a “nationalistic sector” of it in direct antagonism with imperialism was generally accepted. In such approach, this nationalist bourgeoisie becomes a strategic ally of the working class in the anti-imperialist struggle to reach its programmatic objective, to break up the chains of dependence from North American imperialism. There are considerations around the causes of this dependence: some have the wrong notion that colonialism is identifiable to feudal or semi-feudal relationships; others sustain the characterization of a distorted or incomplete capitalism, which poses a series of questions for Marxism-Leninism, classist politics and, again, the tasks for the communist parties.
First of all, those questions relating to the capitalist relationships development show that the positioning around dependence is not dialectic. Processes of accumulation, concentration and centralization lead to the appearance of monopolies, which end up prevailing on the economy and politics notwithstanding borders or nationality. What then arise are inter-dependent relationships that confront monopolies on one side and the working class on the other, that is, the capital-vs.-labor contradiction. Let’s explain.
Those in México who argue that the main task is to conquest independence from the US and work towards a multi-classist alliance with interested bourgeois sectors, forget that what they called nationalistic bourgeoisie is formed today by monopolies that are already part of the imperialist structure, that export capital and exploit workers in several countries. Some of these Mexican-based monopolies are predominant throughout the entire continent and even operate inside the US (as is the case in telecomm and some mining industries).
The fight for independence conceived in this way will be no more than the effort to reach a new form of capitalism management with quite fictitious allies.
It is also incomplete the assessment stating that imperialism is only the US. Imperialism is the capitalism of monopolies, and it truly has the US at its core, but also the European Union, and every action of monopolies and inter-state relationships. Let’s take as example the South of the continent, where monopolistic expansion is a reality. Or Mercosur, which is an alliance between states of capitalistic nature, that establishes tighter interdependent relationships with the EU day by day.
This conception of alliances with sectors of the bourgeoisie has been renamed lately as “progressive”, and several communist parties collaborate with them, forming governments that do not hide their dominant-class nature and practice policies that benefit monopolies’ outrageous profits, having Brazil as an evident example.
In this collaborationist policy, the role of the working class and the communist parties that partake in it, becomes subordinate; it is a risky situation since class independence and party’s autonomy cease to be tasks with the highest priority, their unrelenting duty; they cease to be militant organizations and become associations of affiliates with socialism as a distant option, and by setting up a long-term intermediate stage these organizations are placed under class collaboration, under social pacts and within a parliamentary containment which is functional to progressiveness, again, a form of capitalistic management.
Developments in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia pose a different problem, in face of which some parties position themselves renouncing the Marxist theory of State. The Venezuelan social process is very important; however it is not yet a revolution. How could this process, where no new State arose, be called a revolution? Where the former State was not demolished and remained as the governing structure? Where the means of production have not been socialized and primary and secondary economy sectors have not been advanced? We know it is an alternative plagued with conflict and tensions, where a definite course is yet to be resolved, where middle class positions prevail, and ever under attack funded by monopolies. And we do not take a neutral position; we place ourselves in solidarity with the vanguards’ forces, the Communist Party of Venezuela among them. However, it is inaccurate and incorrect to promote this process as the route to follow, calling “revolution” to something quite not there yet.