In 1993, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement was founded, grouping together the nucleus of the Maoist revolutionaries the world over who were determined to carry forward the fight for a world without exploitation and oppression, without imperialism, a world in which the very division of society into classes will be overcome - the communist world of the future. Since the formation of our Movement we have continued to advance and today, on the occasion of the Mao Tsetung Centenary, with a deep sense of our responsibility, we declare to the international proletariat and the oppressed masses of the world that our guiding ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Our Movement was founded on the basis of the Declaration of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement adopted by the Second Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations in 1984. The Declaration upholds the proletarian revolutionary ideology and on that basis, in the main, it correctly addresse,s the tasks of the revolutionary communists in different countries and on a world scale, the history of the international communist movement, and a number of other vital questions. Today we reaffirm the Declaration as the solid foundation of our Movement upon which we are building a new clarity and deeper understanding of our ideology and the more solid unity of our Movement.
The Declaration correctly stresses "Mao Tsetung's qualitative development of the science of Marxism-Leninism" and affirms that he raised it to "a new stage". However, the use of the term "Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought" in our Declaration reflected a still incomplete understanding of this new stage. In the last nine years, our Movement has been engaged in a long, rich and thoroughgoing discussion and struggle to more fully grasp Mao Tsetung's development of Marxism. During this same period, the parties and organizations of our Movement and RIM as a whole have been engaged in a revolutionary struggle against imperialism and reaction. Most important has been the advanced experience of the People's War led by the Communist Party of Peru which has succeeded in mobilizing the masses in their millions, sweeping aside the state in many parts of the country and establishing the power of the workers and peasants in these areas. These advances, in theory, and practice, have enabled us to further deepen our grasp of the proletarian ideology and on that basis take a far-reaching step, the recognition of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the new, third and higher stage of Marxism.
New, Third and Higher Stage of Marxism
Mao Tsetung elaborated many theses on a whole series of vital questions of revolution. But Maoism is not just the sum total of Mao's great contributions. It is the comprehensive and all-round development of Marxism-Leninism to a new and higher stage. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is an integral whole; it is the ideology of the proletariat synthesized and developed to new stages, from Marxism to Marxism-Leninism to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, by Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Mao Tsetung, on the basis of the experience of the proletariat and mankind in a class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment. It is the invincible weapon which enables the proletariat to understand the world and change it through revolution. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is a universally applicable, living and scientific ideology, constantly developing and being further enriched through its application in making a revolution as well as through the advance of human knowledge generally. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is the enemy of all forms of revisionism and dogmatism. It is all-powerful because it is true.
Karl Marx first developed revolutionary communism almost 150 years ago. With the assistance of his close comrade-in-arms Frederick Engels, he developed a comprehensive philosophical system, dialectical materialism, and discovered the basic laws which shape human history.
Marx developed science of political economy that revealed the exploitation of the proletariat and the inherent anarchy and contradictions of the capitalist mode of production. Karl Marx developed his revolutionary theory in close connection with and to serve the class struggle of the international proletariat. He built the First International and wrote, together with Engels, the Communist Manifesto with its resounding call "workers of all countries, unite!" Marx paid great attention to and summed up the lessons of the Paris Commune of 1871, the first great attempt of the proletariat to seize state power.
He armed the world proletariat with an understanding of its historic mission: seizing political power through revolution and using this power - the dictatorship of the proletariat - to transform social conditions until the very basis for the cleavage of society into different classes is eliminated.
Marx led the struggle against the opportunists in the proletarian movement who sought to confine the struggle of the workers to improve the conditions of wage-slavery without challenging the existence of this slavery itself.
Together, the stand, viewpoint, and method of Marx came to be called Marxism, and represents the first great milestone in the development of the ideology of the proletariat.
V.I. Lenin developed Marxism to a whole new stage in the course of leading the proletarian revolutionary movement in Russia and the struggle in the international communist movement against revisionism.
Among many other contributions, Lenin analyzed the development of capitalism to its highest and final stage, imperialism. He showed that the world was divided between a handful of imperialist powers and the great majority, the oppressed nations and peoples, and showed that the imperialist powers would be forced to go to war periodically to redivide the world amongst themselves. Lenin described the era in which we live as the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Lenin developed the political party of a new type, the Communist Party, as the proletariat's indispensable tool for leading the revolutionary masses in the seizure of power.
Most importantly, Lenin raised the theory and practice of proletarian revolution to a whole new level as he led the proletariat in seizing and consolidating its political power, its revolutionary dictatorship, for the first time with the victory of the October Revolution in formerly Tsarist Russia in 1917.
Lenin waged a life-and-death struggle against the revisionists of his day within the Second International who had betrayed the proletarian revolution and had called on the workers to defend the interests of their imperialist masters in World War I.
The "guns of October" and Lenin's struggle against revisionism further spread the communist movement throughout the world, uniting the struggles of the oppressed peoples with the world proletarian revolution, and the Third (or Communist) International was formed.
Lenin's all-around and comprehensive development of Marxism represents the second great leap in the development of proletarian ideology.
After Lenin's death, Joseph Stalin defended the proletarian dictatorship against enemies from within as well as from the imperialist invaders during World War II and carried forward the cause of socialist construction and transformation in the Soviet Union. Stalin fought for the international communist movement to recognize Marxism-Leninism as the second great milestone in the development of the proletarian ideology.
Mao Tsetung developed Marxism-Leninism to a new and higher stage in the course of his many decades of leading the Chinese Revolution, the world-wide struggle against modern revisionism and, most importantly, in finding in theory and practice the method of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat to prevent the restoration of capitalism and continue the advance toward communism. Mao Tsetung greatly developed all three component parts of Marxism - philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism.
Mao said, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." Mao Tsetung comprehensively developed the military science of the proletariat through his theory and practice of People's War. Mao taught that people, not weapons, are decisive in waging war. He pointed out that each class has its own specific forms of war with its specific character, goals, and means. He remarked that all military logic can be boiled down to the principle "you fight your way, I'll fight my way", and that the proletariat must forge military strategy and tactics which can bring into play its particular advantages, by unleashing and relying upon the initiative and enthusiasm of the revolutionary masses.
Mao established that the policy of winning base areas and systematically establishing political power was key to unleashing the masses and developing the armed strength of the people and the wavelike expansion of their political power. He insisted on the need to lead the masses in carrying out revolutionary transformations in base areas and to develop these politically, economically and culturally in the service of advancing revolutionary warfare.
Mao taught that the Party should control the gun and the gun must never be allowed to control the Party. The Party must be built as a vehicle capable of initiating and leading revolutionary warfare. He emphasized that the central task of revolution is the seizure of political power by revolutionary violence. Mao Tsetung's theory of People's War is universally applicable in all countries, although this must be applied to the concrete conditions in each country and, in particular, take into account the revolutionary paths in the two general types of countries - imperialist countries and oppressed countries - that exist in the world today.
Mao solved the problem of how to make a revolution in a country dominated by imperialism. The basic path he charted for the revolution in China represents an inestimable contribution to the theory and practice of revolution and is the guide for achieving liberation in the countries oppressed by imperialism. This means protracted People's War, surrounding the cities from the countryside, with armed struggle as the main form of struggle and the army led by the Party as the main form of organisation of the masses, mobilising the peasantry, principally the poor peasants, carrying out the agrarian revolution, building a united front under the leadership of the Communist Party to carry out the New Democratic Revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism and establishing the joint dictatorship of the revolutionary classes led by the proletariat as the necessary prelude to the socialist revolution which must immediately follow the victory of the first stage of the revolution. Mao put forward the thesis of the "three magic weapons" - the Party, the Army, and the United Front - the indispensable instruments for making a revolution in every country in accordance with its specific conditions and path of revolution.
Mao Tsetung greatly developed the proletarian philosophy, dialectical materialism. In particular, he stressed that the law of contradiction, the unity, and struggle of opposites, is the fundamental law governing nature and society. He pointed out that the unity and identity of all things are temporary and relative, while the struggle between opposites is ceaseless and absolute, and this gives rise to radical ruptures and revolutionary leaps. He masterfully applied this understanding to the analysis of the relationship between theory and practice, stressing that practice is both the sole source and ultimate criterion of the truth and emphasizing the leap from theory to revolutionary practice. In so doing Mao further developed the proletarian theory of knowledge. He led in taking philosophy to the masses in their millions, popularising, for example, that "one divides into two" in opposition to the revisionist thesis that "two combines into one".
Mao Tsetung further developed the understanding that the "people and the people alone are the motive force in the making of world history". He developed the understanding of the mass line: "take the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in such action". Mao stressed the profound truth that matter can be transformed into consciousness and consciousness into matter, further developing the understanding of the conscious dynamic role of man in every field of human endeavor.
Mao Tsetung led the international struggle against modern revisionism led by the Khrushchevite revisionists. He defended the communist ideological and political line against the modern revisionists and called upon the genuine proletarian revolutionaries to break with them and forge parties based on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles.
Mao Tsetung undertook a penetrating analysis of the lessons of the restoration of capitalism in the USSR and the shortcomings as well as the positive achievements of the construction of socialism in that country. While Mao defended the great contributions of Stalin, he also summed up Stalin's errors. He summed up the experience of the socialist revolution in China and the repeated two-line struggles against revisionist headquarters within the Communist Party of China. He masterfully applied materialist dialectics to the analysis of the contradictions of socialist society.
Mao taught that the Party must play the vanguard role - before, during and after the seizure of power - in leading the proletariat in the historic struggle for communism. He developed the understanding of how to preserve the proletarian revolutionary character of the Party through waging an active ideological struggle against bourgeois and petit bourgeois influences in its ranks, the ideological remolding of the Party members, criticism and self-criticism and waging a two-line struggle against opportunist and revisionist lines in the Party. Mao taught that once the proletariat seizes power and the Party becomes the leading force within the socialist state, the contradiction between the Party and the masses becomes a concentrated expression of the contradictions marking socialist society as a transition between capitalism and communism.
Mao Tsetung developed the proletariat's understanding of political economy, of the contradictory and dynamic role of production itself and of its interrelationship with the political and ideological superstructure of society. Mao taught that the system of ownership is decisive in the relations of production but that, under socialism, attention must be paid that public ownership is socialist in content as well as inform. He stressed the interaction between the system of socialist ownership and the other two aspects of the relations of production, the relations between people in production and the system of distribution. Mao developed the Leninist thesis that politics is the concentrated expression of economics, showing that under socialist society the correctness of the ideological and political line determines whether the proletariat actually owns the means of production. Conversely, he pointed out that the rise of revisionism means the rise of the bourgeoisie, that given the contradictory nature of the socialist economic base it would be easy for capitalist roaders to rig up the capitalist system if they come to power.
He profoundly criticized the revisionist theory of the productive forces and concluded that the superstructure, consciousness, can transform the base and with political power develop the productive forces. All this took expression in Mao's slogan, "Grasp Revolution, Promote Production."
Mao Tsetung initiated and led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which represented a great leap forward in the experience of exercising the dictatorship of the proletariat. Hundreds of millions of people rose up to overthrow the capitalist roaders who had emerged from within the socialist society and who were especially concentrated in the leadership of the Party itself (such as Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Deng Xiao-ping). Mao led the proletariat and masses in challenging the capitalist roaders and imposing the interests, outlook, and will of the great majority in every sphere that, even in socialist society, had remained the private reserve of the exploiting classes and their way of thinking.
The great victories won in the Cultural Revolution prevented the capitalist restoration in China for a decade and led to great socialist transformations in the economic base as well as in education, literature and art, scientific research, and other parts of the superstructure. Under Mao's leadership, the masses dug away at the soil which engenders capitalism - such as bourgeois right and the three great differences between town and country, between worker and peasant, and between mental and manual labor.
In the course of the fierce ideological and political struggle, millions of workers and other revolutionary masses greatly deepened their class consciousness and mastery of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and strengthened their capacity to wield political power. The Cultural Revolution was waged as part of the international struggle of the proletariat and was a training ground in proletarian internationalism.
Mao grasped the dialectical relationship between the necessity of revolutionary leadership and the need to arouse and rely on the revolutionary masses from below to implement a proletarian dictatorship. In this way, the strengthening of the proletarian dictatorship was also the most extensive and deepest exercise in proletarian democracy yet achieved in the world, and heroic revolutionary leaders came forward such as Chiang Ching and Chang Chun-chiao who stood alongside the masses and led them into battle against the revisionists and who continued to hold high the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the face of bitter defeat.
Lenin said, "Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat." In the light of the invaluable lessons and advances achieved through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution led by Mao Tsetung, this dividing line has been further sharpened. Now it can be stated that only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the recognition of the objective existence of classes, of antagonistic class contradictions, of the bourgeoisie in the Party and of the continuation of the class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat throughout the whole period of socialism until communism. As Mao so powerfully stated, "Lack of clarity on this question will lead to revisionism."
The capitalist restoration following the 1976 counter-revolutionary coup d'etat led by Hua Kuo-feng and Deng Xiao-ping in no way negates Maoism or the world-historic achievements and tremendous lessons of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; rather this defeat confirms Mao's theses on the nature of socialist society and the need to continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Clearly, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution represents a world-historic epic of revolution, a victorious high point for the world's communists and revolutionaries, an imperishable achievement. Although we have a whole process ahead of us, that revolution left us great lessons we are already applying, such as, for example, the point that ideological transformation is fundamental in order for our class to seize power.
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism: The Third Great Milestone
In the course of the Chinese revolution, Mao had developed Marxism-Leninism in many important fields. But it was in the crucible of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that our ideology took a leap and the third great milestone, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, fully emerged. From the higher plane of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism the revolutionary communists could grasp the teachings of the previous great leaders even more profoundly and indeed even Mao Tsetung's earlier contributions took on deeper significance. Today, without Maoism there can be no Marxism-Leninism. Indeed, to negate Maoism is to negate Marxism-Leninism itself.
Each great milestone in the development of the revolutionary ideology of the proletariat has met with bitter resistance and has only achieved recognition through intense struggle and through its application in revolutionary practice. Today the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement declares that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism must be the commander and guide of the world revolution.
Hundreds of millions of proletarians and oppressed masses of the world are increasingly propelled into the struggle against the world imperialist system and all reaction. On the battlefield against the enemy, they search for their own flag. Revolutionary communists must wield our universal ideology and spread it among the masses to further unleash them and organize their forces, in order to seize power through revolutionary violence. To accomplish this, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties, united in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, must be formed wherever they do not exist and existing ones must be strengthened in order to prepare, launch and carry through to victory People's War to seize power for the proletariat and the oppressed people. We must uphold, defend and, most importantly, apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
We must step up our struggle for the formation of a Communist International of a new type, based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The world proletarian revolution cannot advance to victory without forging such a weapon because, as Mao Tsetung taught, either we all go to communism or none of us go.
Mao Tsetung said, "Marxism consists of thousands of truths, but in the final analysis they all boil down to one: it is right to rebel." The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement takes the rebellion of the masses as its starting point and calls on the proletariat and revolutionaries the world over to take up Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This liberating, partisan ideology must be brought home to the proletariat and all the oppressed because it alone can enable the rebellion of the masses to sweep away thousands of years of class exploitation and bring to birth the new world of communism.
Hold High the Great Red Banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
26 December 1993
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism! RIM Document 1993