Party and vanguard

Until now, we have seen the historic premises for the organic construction of the revolutionary party of the proletariat. First of all, the proletariat, as a class, must exist previously and have an independent political activity, i.e. acting as a party. Second, on this base, the revolutionary ideology must be applied by the vanguard, which is vanguard because it owns the vanguard ideology and, in second place, because it tends to become an integral part of the class in order to become its real vanguard. Third, when the vanguard has finally become part of the class, transforming itself in CP, the movement of the proletariat undergoes a qualitative leap, which consists in becoming a revolutionary movement. This movement is defined because the class wants to elevate to reach the communist program and thinking of its Party, in order to fulfill its mission as a revolutionary class.

But these are historical premises, because they are conquests already achieved by the international proletariat, which it still relatively conserves. In fact, the main meaning of these conquests is that the revolutionary movement of the proletariat is underway; not in the political field, for we face a period of stagnation and withdrawal, but in its historical sense. October inaugurated the revolutionary movement of the class, that is, its elevation process towards the Communism. Now it is about defining the political premises to make this movement to gain new pulse.

From the historical point of view, we can define the CP in its unity with the Class, because its revolutionary vanguard stamps a conscious character to its movement towards the Communism, i.e. as a dialectical unity in which the class, already formed as a class, is turning into the CP. But, from the political point of view, this is not enough. Certainly, the historical point of view only tells us that the struggle between those two rivals, between the CP and the Class, is expressed as a revolutionary movement, which makes this definition of the CP too lax and ambiguous, for it does not make clear what is the CP itself in a given moment of that revolutionary process, and what it is not. In other words, it does not solve the main political question of the Party in terms of its Reconstitution, that is, the question of its organization.

Because, if at a historical level, the dialectics between the Party and the Class is shown by the revolutionary movement of elevation towards the Communism, at the concrete political level the revolutionary movement is expressed through the dialectics between the vanguard and the masses of the class. As mentioned above, the CP, understood as a specific political organization, is, at the same time, attribute and subject of that movement. it is created by the movement, and, once created, the Party reproduces it at an each time wider scale. Therefore, the CP, as a political organization, must be conceived as the relation between the vanguard and the masses. The CP, conceived this way, is a social relationship, within the Class, between its masses and its vanguard, and this social relation crystallizes in a political organization, not in an absolute form, but depending on the moment in which the development of that dialectic relation takes place.

The CP is not only the vanguard, nor even the organized vanguard, though the criteria for that organization may be oriented by the Marxism-leninism. Conceive that way the Party organization implies dogmatism, because, from that approach, only one aspect of that “social relation" is considered, the vanguard, apart from the other inherent element of the class, the masses. That means understanding the CP separated from the Class, and the Class from an exclusively economic conception, without political content, not as the unity of both movement and conscience; therefore, the idea of the Class acting as a political party is denied. Not only the idea of the class acting “for itself" is denied, but also the idea of the class having conscience “as itself”, and in consequence, also the idea of the proletariat being a socially mature class and politically independent – i.e. with an own program, with a specific, revolutionary, historical mission as a class -.

The CP defined as the relation between the vanguard and the masses is a much more concrete formulation than the one which describes it as the revolutionary movement of the Class towards the Communism, but this definition is not yet complete. Until here, it takes into account its dialectical elements, its two “opposites”, and set a general link between them, a “social relation”; but it does not specify anything yet about the concrete character of that relation, about this relation as a “unity of opposites”; it does not tell us anything yet about the intern link required for that relation to be verified as a dialectical unity. Until here we have the vanguard on one side, which tries to integrates in the Class, which is still vanguard only because of the vanguard ideology, and which is not yet a political vanguard, because it does not form an organic unity with the Class, because it is not CP yet; on the other side, we have the masses, whose movement attempts to overcome the limit imposed by its economic determination, the limit of its spontaneous conscience, in order to reach the auto-conscience of its historical mission, but it does not achieve it because the revolutionary ideology does not form an organic unity with its movement. These two elements find their unity when the vanguard is really part of the class, when the vanguard unites with the masses and manages to organize the revolutionary movement, when the vanguard stops being only an organized group around the ideology and manages to translate this ideology in politics for the masses and in organization for the revolutionary masses. The CP arises, then, as the unity between the organized vanguard and its masses, as the link of the vanguard with the masses, as the vanguard and its means of transmission with the masses; in summary, as the vanguard plus its masses policy . The vanguard's mass line is, in short, the unity element which configures the CP on the constitutive elements of the Class: vanguard and masses.

In the history of the International Communist Movement there has been a lot of dogmatism in this point related to the definition of the CP. Most of the time, the organization of the vanguard has been considered the organization of the Party; the vanguard has been seen as the only element of the CP, but it is only one of them. This has meant that, in the long term, the vanguard has gradually divorced from the masses, and the Party, understood only as organization, was wasted away, and a heavy bureaucratic-administrative machine remained as the residue of its previous existence, as the dry skeleton of a in times alive and healthy body; that is what we can observe in the so-called "former communist" parties in East Europe, organizations which are not what they say they are, organizations which defend the interests of the enemies of the ones they say to defend.

Obviously, that dogmatism, which is still today alive in those who state they are Marxist-leninist and say they have broken relations with the revisionism, has a certain explanation and a certain historical logic. Most of the communist parties were created thanks to the revolutionary offensive that the international proletariat began with the October Revolution, and their foundation was sponsored by the CI through unique constituent acts, in which the required processes for the fulfilling of the objective requisites for the existence of the Party were considered obvious or synthesized. That was correct taking into account that it was necessary in order to continue and strengthen the offensive of the World Proletarian Revolution, which was at its very peak. But, once it slowed down, the consequences of the deficient fulfilling of those requisites at the national level were ascertained. First of all, because the communist parties fell in opportunism with a surprising easiness when they had to face the conquest of power; and, secondly, once these communist parties were definitely liquidated by the opportunism, the first model of constitution was, with the same surprising easiness, reproduced in the minds of the vanguard elements who want to recover the Party; that happened because this model has not been tackled in a critical way, nor have they attempted to understand its real political background.

This is clearly shown when we relate the creation of the Party in the Revolution. From the leninist point of view, the Revolution is a process with successive stages: 1º, constitute the CP; 2º, attract the masses to conquest the power; 3º, conquest the power and found the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to create the social relations which may open the way to Communism. Another essential principle of Marxism-leninism is that “the masses make history”, and, in consequence, they must be the protagonists of the Revolution in all the stages.

What happens with the dogmatic vision of the Party? As it tries to fulfill with the first stage of the Revolution through a political act of organization, because it conceives the CP only as a vanguard organization, it wants, once this political act is considered done and fulfilled, to deal immediately with the second stage, the one of preparing the big masses to conquest the power, or even the one of taking the power in a straight way. This vision of the Revolution has two fundamental mistakes:

First. The tasks of the first two stages of the Revolution are confused, and, therefore, the two stages are understood as only one, when in fact, the Reconstitution demands the fulfilling of political tasks which are very different from the ones of preparing the masses to take the power. The political essence of the first stage of the Revolution consists in "attract the vanguard" towards the Communism, unlike the second, when the masses must be "attracted" to the Communism. But formalize that conquest through a constituent act, through the unification of the vanguard in an organization, means to presuppose the ideology as assumed, means to believe that the vanguard is already won for the Communism, and, therefore, it means to deny the necessity of the first stage of the Revolution. Then, if it is not necessary a period in which the ideology conquests the vanguard, because it pre-exists as revolutionary vanguard (with the communist ideology), the liquidation of the communist movement is only seen as the organizational dispersion of its members, not as the liquidation of the ideological and political ideology of the communist parties; and because the real revolutionary ideology survives in the minds of the dispersed communists, the CP can be reconstituted through a new constituent act. The ideology, then, stops being the agent element of the Reconstitution of the CP and allows the entrance to the voluntarism of those wise people, trustees of the revolutionary truth.

Second. From the previous we can deduce that, if the vanguard, understood as the group of individuals who auto proclaim themselves as Marxist-leninist, can reconstitute the CP through its organization simply as a political party, the solution of the problem of the integration of the vanguard in the class is set apart, and, therefore, also the question of its link with the masses of the class, the question of the vanguard's mass line with the rest of the class. The vanguard –the CP understood as the unity of the vanguard or exclusively as the organization of the vanguard-, then, applies and can only apply a conspiring political line, and not a mass line. It is a conspiring political line in the sense of acting from outside the class. And if the vanguard acts this way in the first stage, if it does not take the masses into account in any way, we have no reasons to think that it will do the contrary in the second stage, which undoubtedly will end in parliamentarism or terrorism. The application of a conspiring line instead of a mass line in order to fulfill the tasks and the stages of the Revolution can begin honestly with conspiring in favor of the class, but in the long term it will end, undoubtedly, in conspiring against the class.