From Karl Marx to Marxism - Class struggle, two line struggle and mass line ( Part III)

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Editor’s Note: As part of the celebration of the 200 years of the great Karl Marx’s birthday, AND has been publishing studies on his life and immortal work.

The Nucleus for Studies of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism sent us texts ( published in the issues numbers 207 and 208) which are part of this larger article: From Karl Marx to Marxism: class struggle, two line struggle and mass line. At the current edition we will publish a third part and till the end of the year the remaining ones.

In these two first parts the appearing of the scientific ideology of the proletariat, the Marxism, and the detached participation of Engels with Marx have been addressed.The analysis of the historical period covered by the two texts was from 1847 to 1871 in which the proletarian ideology on its foundation takes the following steps: first, complies as marx thought (1947-1851) and on its development it amounts to Marxism, a quality leap that occurs between 1867-1871.

In the third part, as a conclusion of the first ones, one tries to resume and substantiate a little more the elements that indicate the internal development of Marxism.

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Gravura de Karl Marx intervindo no histórico Congresso de Haia da I Internacional, setembro de 1872
Gravura de Karl Marx intervindo no histórico Congresso de Haia da I Internacional, setembro de 1872

The triumph of Marxism – Introduction

Marxism is a science and an ideology. It is the ideology of the most revolutionary and last class in history, the proletariat. The Marxism’s enemies have always attacked it, either demonizing or distorting it. On the one hand, the bourgeois academy and, conversely, the revisionism ( this one, acting out since the womb of the worker’s movement). Besides emptying Marxism from its revolutionary essence, they try to reduce it to a simple method.The class struggle experience and the proletarian revolutionary history confirm the scientific character of the ideology of proletariat and unmask revisionism and the bourgeois academicism. As a science, marxism develops itself insofar as the social reality modifies itself in order to give an answer to the new problems. In this regard, since its foundation marxism followed three develomental stages: marxism, leninism and maoism.

As well as its emergence, every stage of its development has occurred through hard battles against its negation. In the bourgeois society when the productive forces have reached a certain material and spiritual development grade  (expressed in the more advanced trends of thought, that is, the British political economy, the French socialist thought and the German classical philosophy) it becomes possible for the science to make a great leap.Marx and Engels, already engaged in the class struggle beside the proletariat, have started from such sources and, at the same time, from the critical struggle to them. This manner, it has complied Marxism: marxist political economy, scientific socialism and marxist philosophy; historical dialectical materialism, the three parts in indissoluble unity.

Therefore, Marxism, as Lenin has very well presented it, has three constitutive parts. In such a way that, when the reality has modified itself to the point where the formulated theories by marxism, till then, were not able to  answer to the new problems encountered ( and intensifying the negation of marxism through several attacks), it has demanded its development to a superior level. In other words, to make a qualitaitve leap in the development of the three constitutive parts and from them as unity. This jump has only been possible to be accomplished by hard struggles against its negation, by the two line struggle against the contrary bourgeois lines, dogmatism and, mostly, against revisionism, amidst the class struggle. That is why, in a certain moment, the Marxism became Marxism-Leninism and, afterwards, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. And it will continue to be throughout times for since the Humankind reaches the Communism goal and the classes disappear forever, it will continue as a science for giving a just and correct solution to the contradictions between the new and the old, the right and the wrong.

The grounds of the question on the quality leap to a superior level, meaning a new stage, we will not assert here, since it is not the object of the current text; but we will approach it in the next texts to be published. At the moment we will underline the fact that Marxism is nowadays Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, mostly Maoism. Without Marxism it cannot exist Leninism, in the same way without Marxism-Leninism it will not exist Maoism, since Maoism is Marxism today.

Accordingly, the fair and accurate outlook on Marx and the Marxism strictly is only possible coming from Maoism, its third, new and superior stage of development, a product of the development of the class struggle over the transformation of capitalism which has been for more than a century a monopoly capital, the imperialism. A stormy period this one, in which the proletarian revolution has opened a New Humankind Era with the Great October Socialist Revolution and the World Proletarian Revolution has expanded itself with great protagonism during the second great imperialist war, changing it into a powerful liberation war for the peoples with the emergence of tens of revolutions worldly, principally with the Great Chinese Revolution and, onward, reaching the threshold of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Of these three great events, two gave birth to Maoism. We insisted that only with Maoism, unfurling, defending and applying it, one can be nowadays truly marxist, marxist-leninist.

Such a grasping of the development of Marxism through stages was, by its turn, given us by gonzalo thought, the creating application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to Peru’s reality by Chairman Gonzalo, jefatura of the Communist Party of Peru and the Peruvian Revolution as well as by its invincible people’s war. It was Chairman Gonzalo who substantiated Maoism as a third and superior stage of Marxism development.: “Maoism is the raising of marxism-leninism to a third and superior stage in the struggle for the proletarian leadership in the democratic revolution under the dictatorship of proletariat, as a cultural proletarian revolution,when imperialism deepens its decomposition and the revolution has transformed itself into the principal tendence in history, amidst the most complex and great wars so far and the implacable struggle against the contemporary revisionism”.

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Gravura de Karl Marx intervindo em uma sessão plenária da I Internacional
Gravura de Karl Marx intervindo em uma sessão plenária da I Internacional

Therefore, Maoism and the contributions of universal value of Gonzalo thought  (the highest synthesis of maoism) affirm and sustain that in the course of class struggle at the imperialism time, the proletariat – by means of its communist party – in the process of proletarian revolution  applies the universal truths of its scientific ideology to the respective concret and particular reality of the countries, either imperialist ( where the socialist revolution is required) or oppressed ( where the revolution of a new democracy ininterrupted to socialism is demanded). The process of revolution generates necessarily a guide-thinking that leads the party and the revolution and forges its jefatura that sustains itself in this guide-thinking, serving the world revolution.

Approaching the proletariat class struggle moment in which it is required a superior development of this ideology, a determined process will produce it, representing a distinct development and apart from the remaining processes. At this moment, the guide-thinking of this determined process will turn into the category of ism, i. e., it will possess the condition of a doctrine that will wholly interpret all the matter on its three manners of expressing itself: the nature, the society and the knowledge. Namely, configurating itself to a new stage of the ideology development. This has been  the forming process for Marxism, Leninism and Maoism. Under this light we can conceive in a deepest and complete form the process of creation and development of Marxism.

Marx thought

The emergence of the scientific ideology of the proletariat on its conformation and raising from the marx thought to Marxism could only be possible because Karl Marx, since the end of 1844, was a highlighted communist militant among the main working leaders in Europe. Together, Marx and Engels, in 1847, joined the League of the Justes as a Red Fraction of the league for struggling to substantiate in science the proletarian cause. At the II Congress of the organization, in November of that year, they achieved  great victory against the petty-bourgeois socialism, mostly proudhonism, and the League of the Justes becoming Communist League and having as slogan Proletarians of all countries, unite!. In February 1848, it was published the historical oeuvre, landmark for the foundation of the scientific socialism and marx thought: The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx becoming well-known as a chiefdom.

A few weeks after the Manifesto publication, in many cities in Europe ( Paris, Berlin, Vienna,etc.) a great wave of people’s rebellion against monarchy regimes broke out. The most important of them happened in France where, after the fell of monarchy and restored the bourgeois republic, for the first time in history, a bloody conflict between the armed proletariat and the State bourgeois regime occurred. It was the working insurrection of June, 1848. Right after the Manifesto publication, Marx returned to Germany to lead personnaly the intervention in the Communist League in the revolutionary democratic bourgeois process, by the unified German Republic, against the Prussia kingdom and the Austrian Empire. Even from there he was able, as any other person, to systematize in a bright way the working insurrection experiences in Paris, enriching and completing the leap represented by marx thought with the Manifesto. In 1851 in The class struggle in France, for the first time, Marx will formulate the mottoes of  “appropriation of the means of production” and “ dictatorship of proletariat”.

From Marx thought to Marxism

The emergence of marx thought (1847-1851) as a scientific ideology occurs, from the beginning, on its three constitutive parts: philosophy, political economy and socialism. As comrade Lenin has accurately characterized, the book Misery of Philosophy, of 1847, is the first “mature oeuvre of marxism”. Marx combats Proudhon’s petty-bourgeois socialism, the first elements of the marxist dialectical materialism and political economy are developed; its exposition is still in a controversial form but it comes just about on the criticism to Proudhon for the bad use he does to Hegel’s philosophical ideas and Adam Smith and David Ricardo’s economic ideas. The scientific socialism, for its turn, is presented as a complete political programme in the Manifesto of the Communist Party.

Marx thought, therefore, comes up as a product of class struggle of the European proletariat, its development in more radical forms of struggle, on the eve of the great revolutionary wave that shook Europe in 1848. It emerges as the product of the two line struggle, the proletarian scientific socialism against the petty-bourgeois socialism in its more influential expression, Proudhon’s right-wing opportunist line. A two line struggle that occurs within the proletariat’s vanguard, at the newly-born Communist Party, was constituted thanks to the acting of Marx and Engels as a Red Fraction in the revolutionary proletarian movement from the League of the erstwhile League of the Justes. Marx thought is also a product of the mass line, part of the marxist theory of knowledge, that is, the compilation of the masses’ dispersed ideas summed up by Marx and transformed into class struggle guidelines. It was from the experience of June insurrection, in Paris, that Marx formulated the guideline of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is, therefore, as an unquestioned leader of the Communist League, as the formulator of the set ot f theoretical of marx thought ( on its three constitutive parts: marxist philosophy, marxist political economy and scientufica socialism) that Karl Marx became the founder of the scientific socialism, Communism and leader of the first Communist Party with acknowledged authority and influence. As his arms’ comrade, Engels, insisted in affirming: Marx was the first leader of the emergent International Communist Movement.

The historical milestone of the quality jump that raises marx thought to Marxism is the publication of, in 1867, the monumental oeuvre The Capital, specifically its Book I. The practical landmark of this qualitative leap is the historical Commune of Paris (1871), as well as the assessment of this experience proposed by Marx: Message to the General Council, approved by the London Conference of the International Association of Workers ( the First International), on September, 1871. From the point of view of the three constitutive parts of marxism – as comrade Lenin states – The Capital is not only a political economy oeuvre; it contains, in a more developed form, Marx philosophical  thought, that is, the dialectical materialism. In turn, the Message to the General Council  that, in the year next to 1871, had three editions in English, represent a great treaty for the scientific socialism. Both oeuvres have been decisive in the two line struggle for the comprehensive defeat of the petty-bourgeois socialism, notably on its more refined form, the anarchism.

The crucial element for the advance of the proletariat ideology, its quality leap, was the class struggle.

If in 1848 Marx led the Communist League during the people’s rebellion (whose highest peak was the June working insurrection in Paris), in 1871 ( 23 years later) he led the First International that gathered several Sections of nearly all countries in Europe, with tens of thousands of associated workers  and amidst them the ones who seized the power on March 18th, establishing the Commune of Paris.

The growing and advance of the proletarian struggle has determined, in the long run, the development and jump of its ideology. On the other hand, in a dialect relationship, the leap of this scientific ideology has permitted to the proletariat and its Party to climb peaks increasingly higher in the class struggle. In the twenty years that separate the publication of Misery of the Philosophy and The Capital, Karl Marx, with an effort of a monumental and personal commitment and his family’s sacrifices, reached an extraordinary deed for the proletariat as a worldwide class. From the theoretical point of view, The Capital has complemented and developed, in depth and extension, all the  economic arguments introduced by Marx in its 1847 work.

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