In our history, the history of the revolutionary communist movement, there are three red stars qualified to globally illuminate the future course of our movement:
Paris Commune of 1871: world-wide first dictatorship of the proletariat;
October Revolution of 1917: establishment of soviet power and following construction of socialism;
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966: deliberate continuation of class struggle in socialism by correcting undesirable developments of the previous international communist movement.
By each of these revolutions the world-wide movement was lifted to a higher level. Each of these pioneering achievements has opened new, elementary and indispensable knowledge for the continuation of the movement. Every revolutionary communist cannot be dismissive or neutral to any of these mile-stones – on the contrary: without clearly positive fundamental stance towards the total balance of all epoch-making upheavals any confession to revolutionary communism remains necessarily incomplete.
Scientific communism was founded by Marx and Engels (“Marxism”) was further developed and deepened decisively first by Lenin and Stalin (“Marxism-Leninism”) and then by Mao (“Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong-Thoughts” or “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” resp.).
In opposition to this there are revisionist currents of today basing themselves deliberately, even in the imperialist stadium of capitalism, mainly on the works of Marx (and Engels) and ignoring the scientific works of Lenin (and Stalin). Furthermore there are revisionist currents denying firmly any essential development of the communist theory after 1952, especially the great importance of the positive teachings and lessons from the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the theoretical writings of Mao and the Cultural Revolution Group. In our opinion, nowadays all these currents are not part of the revolutionary communist movement; they may partly hold correct positions in practice but cannot play an advancing role in society in general.
Historically seen the three (or four, resp.) terms resulted from sharp line struggles within the communist movement when each time the name of the leading theoretic was included in the name. Although we are at present still in the epoch of monopoly capitalist imperialism and not in a new epoch we think that mentioning the name of Mao is indispensable because under his leadership the CP of China developed the only essential analysis of the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and possible steps for preventing this in other socialist countries. (We do not want to engage in the discussion distracting from the content if the term “Marxist-Leninist-Maoist” or “Marxist-Leninist-Mao Zedong-Thoughts” or “Maoist Communist” is the best – but we think that the mere term “Maoist” – without and instead of “Communist” – is insufficient.)
Using the names of the most important theoretics as a term might however lead to reducing scientific communism to a theoretical building of genius thinkers and not understanding it as a synthesis of the experiences of class struggle of millions of revolutionary workers and people’s masses. Therefore we think that the term of “revolutionary communism” is most suitable for our theory.
All this however includes that we definitely regard Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao as out-standing champions of revolutionary communism in the 19th and 20th centuries. We assess the merits of each of these historic figures for the theory and practice of revolutionary communism by far towering above their errors.
At the same time we state that we do not allow being reduced to the above-mentioned five when exploiting the theoretical heritage.
Especially Hoxhaists and Breshnevists insist on raising Stalin to the rank of a super and main classic. In doing so they especially defend and canonify the errors of the international communist movement under Stalin and so they, now and then, cause considerable ideological confusion directly leading water on the mills of anti-communism.
It is important that we fill the relation of 70 : 30 (70% merits against 30% as assessed by Mao) with contents. That means being as concrete as possible when defending Stalin. We e.g. shall defend the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union at the time of Stalin but not the errors in various fields in this very epoch (theory of productive forces, irreversibility of socialism, administrative-bureaucratic proceedings, not distinguishing between contradictions among the people and those to the class enemy, persecution and killing of communists by the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat,…)
The main targets of revisionists within the communist movement are still the positions linked with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and Mao. Beating back and repulsing these attacks is an indispensable precondition for strengthening the front in the necessary struggle against anti-communism.
Initiative for the Construction of a Revolutionary Communist Party (Austria), December 2008.
IA.RKP, Stiftgasse 8, A-1070 Wien, Austria; email@example.com