Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On the Question of Allowing Factions in the Party.

I'd like to start by mentioning that I am referring to factions with in a party who's guiding system is Democratic Centralism. There are many sides to this argument and many differing reasons why one supports or does not support factions with in a party.

Most believe that factions within a party will only lead to an inevitable split within that party. There is no evidence to suggest that this would happen but there is no evidence to the contrary. I would like to take this subject from an objective stance. I would love to have comments on this post and see what others think on the subject.

One down side could be that important issues could cause a split or if a hot button issues is decided by only a few percentage like 55-45% on a vote it could cause anger and division among the party.

On the other hand, greater inner democracy could create a feeling of unity within the party and energize some members that would otherwise be down heartened with the bureaucracy of the normal democratic centralist party. I for one would enjoy a party where I could express my individual ideas behind closed doors with other members of my party that shared my same ideas. Then take those ideas to the central committee to be voted on at a congress. It would make me feel more empowered and give me a greater feeling of duty to the party.

Something that comes to mind when I think about a party that would allow multiple factions in it; is that with factions openly encouraged the party could grow larger. For example if a party let everyone in that adhered to any form of Marxist Leninist theory than everything from Leninist to Stalinist and Maoist could join the party. As a Maoist in this country at this time there is no party that truly represents my ideas as a Maoist. I would not and will not join a party that will not allow me to be openly Maoist and express my Maoist ideas and theories. I would join a party if I could openly propagate and advocate a Maoist line with in the party.

However I do not think this idea could work with all the communist tendencies, I do not see a world where Maoist and Trotskyist could be in the same party and peacefully exist. I think an attempt to do so would be a waste of time and resources.

I will touch a little more on this subject in an upcoming post that will be about "A Unified Communist Party of America."


  1. I tend to think of the organizational question in terms of what stage of revolution you're at at this point. At earlier stages, more tight-knit forms of democratic centralism may be appropriate. These should give way to more open forms as you steadily eradicate the division of labor in society and develop the revolutionary consciousness of the population and lead that population to radically transform the culture. For example, I think they could have abolished the Communist Party during China's Cultural Revolution and simply expanded the Cultural Revolution Group into a more broad-based, democratic organization that would replace it. So the CR Group could have become the new communist vanguard, I believe, had it been reorganized over the course of the Cultural Revolution along lines similar to the structure of the LLCO, with a very loose-knit form of democratic centralism. That would have been appropriate, I think, because at that point large sections of the masses -- some estimates suggest 30 to 40 million -- had become more radical than the whole Communist Party itself.

    It is probably favorable that factions should exist in communist parties though even at early stages, truthfully, given that splits occur anyway and the alternative to having factions seems to be that these other tendencies wind up going underground and becoming class enemies outright. However, I DO believe there should be a meaningful political line that unites the vanguard organization. We shouldn't be liberal about it. A vanguard organization should be based on advanced, correct communist politics, not just any old "form of Marxism" or "form of Leninism" or what have you that today is revisionist. The most advanced stage of the communist science should not be relegated to the status of a mere faction. Revisionist tendencies that are essentially progressive can be united with us in our revolutionary fronts. The vanguard organization is for authentic, serious communists. Otherwise we're not going to be able to agree on much and probably won't get anywhere.

    Since Maoist Third Worldists recognize the impossibility of revolution in the first world (except from without), there is no real reason to traditionally-styled communist PARTIES in the first world that I can think of. We're not aiming to seize state power, but rather to support the third world in the revolutionary conquest of the first. The socialist states of the third world will jointly rule over the first world in our revolution. It is therefore not our task to organize as if WE were aiming to seize state power generally. Our historic mission is to bring leading light communism to the third world, for the revolutionaries there to take up independently and modify and develop in ways appropriate to their particular conditions. We must both ideologically and materially support these revolutions while so doing. The LLCO is the communist vanguard of a new type that is a match for this said historic mission.

  2. In the last paragraph above, I meant to say that "...there is no reason to HAVE traditionally-styled communist PARTIES in the first world..."

    Sorry for any confusion!