by Jan Makandal
(February 21, 2015)
The self-proclamation of being a vanguard, by a few intellectuals totally disconnected from the popular masses, is vanguardism. Vanguardism is the dominant tendency of the petit bourgeois, based on elitism and a non-organic [bureaucratic] relation with the masses.
It is important that we collectively do a critical periodization of revolutionaries’ work directed toward the masses—both revolutionary autonomous practices as well as the alternatives of democratic struggle among the masses for the objective of radically detaching them from the hold of bourgeois ideology.
In this periodization, we can identify different moments that are important and that we learn from. The experience of the Bolsheviks is one of these moments. Although fundamentally correct, elitism and a bureaucratic relation were dominant. The Chinese and Vietnamese experiences were a clear advancement, and an initial rupture with elitism and bureaucratism, especially with the introduction of the mass line to further strengthen the relation of the masses with the revolutionary proletarian organization.
The vanguard needs to be constructed, not created, or formed. The vanguard is to be constructed in struggle among the masses, through the achievement of two opposite yet undeniably simultaneously connected political tasks: the destruction of the antagonistic relation between capital and labor, and proletarian dictatorship.
The proletarian organization, in the periodization of revolutionary work, is the initial stage of the construction of the vanguard for the realization of a proletarian Party. We do agree with Mao, at least in theory, that the proletarian organization/Party consists of the most advanced elements of that class…. and that to become a Party we must be among the masses like fish in water. And to be representative, we must detach the masses from the ideological hold on them by bourgeois and petit bourgeois charlatans who pass for revolutionaries.
The political organization is not a study group or a political reading group. Proletarian theory [Marxism] can’t be appropriated through study. Proletarian theory is to be applied from the relation between theory and practice, in a constant mode of rectification and consolidation.
We don’t need a Party of crybabies always complaining about the evils of capitalism while doing nothing to end it.
We don’t need circle of dogmatic intellectuals in study groups who think that simply discussing and reading Capital or other revolutionary theories are revolutionary acts.
What we need are militants capable of using theory as a guide, to produce more theory. Who are capable of seeing what previous revolutionary militants saw, while also seeing what they did not see…TO TRANSFORM THIS REALITY OF CLASS ANTAGONISM INTO THE REALIZATION OF A CLASSLESS SOCIETY.
We need to construct the revolutionary proletarian Party…