In Commemoration of the Third Anniversary of the Anti-Revisionist Lightning Campaign

#Editorial Board
#25th of October, 2023

In December 2022, the dogmato-revisionist trend around the Communist Party of Brazil announced the formation of the so-called «International Communist League», in direct opposition to the work carried out, since the dissolution of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, by a number of Communist Parties and organizations around the world, mainly the Communist Party of India (Maoist), for the reunification of the world's Communists under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

The formation of the «International Communist League» represented a split in the international Communist movement, a self-expulsion on the part of the dogmato-revisionist trend. This was the completion of almost 30 years of work by the dogmato-revisionists — since the 1993 split in the Communist Party of Peru and the Peru People's Movement — for precisely such a split in the Communist movement.

In the period leading up to the formation of the «International Communist League», under cover of calls for a so-called «Unified International Maoist Conference» (which has still not been convened), the dogmato-revisionist trend planned, organized, and carried out splits in existing Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations in a number of different countries, and, whenever possible, usurped the leadership of these parties and organizations. Such splits and usurpations took place at least in the countries of Anatolia, Austria, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Britain, Spain, France, and the United States.

In Switzerland alone was the attempt at a usurpation beaten back by the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists, who expelled the German dogmato-revisionist «Committee Red Flag» from their country, with the whole organization being left intact. This was the result of the Anti-Revisionist Lightning Campaign of October-November 2020. Since then, the Swiss Communist movement has dedicated itself to the struggle against the dogmato-revisionist trend — the main danger to the struggle for the reunification of the international Communist movement under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

Why is the «International Communist League» dogmato-revisionist? Comrade Mao Zedong taught us on numerous occasions that revisionism (that is, the revision of fundamental Marxist principles or conclusions) is the product of two different deviations in the ideological sphere, two deviations from the Marxist theory of knowledge: empiricism and dogmatism. Empiricist revisionism is the revision of Marxism under cover of «new conditions»; dogmatic revisionism is the revision of Marxism under cover of «keeping it pure», by preventing its creative application to new times and places, thus revising the essence of Marxism — the concrete analysis of a concrete situation. In the political sphere, revisionism expresses itself as opportunism; in the organizational sphere, it expresses itself as liquidationism — either can take on a Right-wing or a «Left-wing» form, depending on the concrete type of revisionism, just as empiricism is a Right-wing deviation from the Marxist theory of knowledge, and dogmatism a «Left-wing» deviation.

There have been numerous examples of dogmato-revisionism in the history of the international Communist movement: «Orthodox Marxism» in the period of the early 20th century, Hoxhaism in the period of the late 20th century, and the modern dogmato-revisionist trend in the period of the early 21st century. The modern dogmato-revisionist trend may, more precisely, be described as «Geronimoism», because it is Geronimo, the code name of the Chairperson of the Communist Party of Brazil, who is the acknowledged top leader of the dogmato-revisionist trend, or, as the decisions of the Coordinating Committee of the «Unified International Maoist Conference» themselves state, he is «the top leader of the international proletariat and the proletarian world revolution» and «the successor of Chairman Gonzalo».

In the sphere of philosophy, Geronimoism revises dialectical-historical-materialist philosophy by upholding a type of idealist metaphysics, in which voluntarism, the cult of the individual, the cult of action, the glorification of violence and war, and so on, are emphasized instead of historical necessity and accident, the masses as the makers of history, and the necessity of eliminating war through war. Moreover, it openly denies two of the three laws of dialectics, the law of the mutual transformation of quantity and quality and the law of negation and affirmation, and it negates historical materialism.

In the sphere of political economy, Geronimoism revises proletarian political economy by refusing to acknowledge the development of capitalism to a new phase of imperialism, that is, the phase of globalized monopoly capitalism; they negate the theory of sub-contractor capitalism (or bureaucrat-comprador capitalism) by refusing to acknowledge its existence in countries where no semi-feudal basis exists, where semi-slavery constitutes the economic basis, or where sub-contractor capitalism is quantitatively (but not qualitatively) displacing semi-feudal relations of production. Moreover, they negate Comrade Mao's most important contribution to the political economy of socialism, namely, his thesis that «the bourgeoisie is right inside the Communist Party», that is to say, that a new State-monopoly bourgeoisie actually emerges in an economic sense in socialist society.

In the sphere of strategy and tactics, Geronimoism revises scientific Socialism and Communism in a number of ways, the most significant of which include the following:

  • It revises the military science of the proletariat, the essence of Communist strategy and tactics, by mechanically transposing the Peruvian model of people's war to times and places where major adjustments are necessary to avoid defeat by the reactionaries, particularly in the capitalist countries. It negates the validity of the road of the Russian November Revolution. Moreover, it in no way acknowledges the necessity of further developing proletarian tactics and military technique in light of modern conditions of mass surveillance, drone warfare, satellites, and so on.
  • It revises proletarian feminism by way of gender metaphysics, consolidation of the bourgeois-patriarchal nuclear family and monogamy, patriarchal practises, negation of female leadership, and so on, all of which is caused by the negation of Comrade Gonzalo's fundamental thesis: «To Marxism, women, just like men, are nothing but a set of social relations, which are created and change as a result of the historical process of development of society, and which, in turn, serve to change these social relations. Women, then, are products of society, and their transformation demands the transformation of society.»
  • It negates the method of leadership «from the masses, to the masses», instead replacing it with political apriorism.
  • It revises the theory of classes and class struggle, the trade-union tactics of the working class, and so on, instead advocating «Left»-Communist deviations about «electoral boycott as strategy», «Communist trade unions», «indefinite general strike», and so on.
  • It makes no attempt at class analysis or the establishment of political programmes.
  • It elevates leaders to the level of a cult of the individual, makes a principle out of this cult, negates the principle of collective leadership and a headquarters consisting of multiple leaders, and so on.
  • It revises the thesis on the proletarian political party of a new type, replacing democratic centralism by bureaucratism under cover of «militarization», including in peacetime.
  • It negates the role of the grassroots organizations created by the Party for its open work among the masses, requiring their «militarization», which is a Trotskijite criterion.
  • It negates the thesis on the united front. In the capitalist countries, they talk about a «united front during the process of reconstitution», which consists of alliance work with revisionists, thus leading them to tail them; in the oppressed countries, their «united front» totally excludes existing organizations created by the masses, which are seen either as enemies or as rivals to infiltrate and usurp.

There are more examples of how Geronimoism revises Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, but this should suffice for now.

Geronimoism is nothing but a new form in a long line of different revisionist trends. This particular trend is a product of the general counter-revolutionary offensive begun by the time the Cold War ended, in which the imperialists, reactionaries, and revisionists converge in a thousand and one ways in their attacks on Communism. It is also a product of the profound nihilism, ideological debasement, and individualist atomization of the proletariat and the working people during the current second great ebb of the proletarian-socialist world revolution, which began around 1980 with the defeat of all proletarian-led countries in the world, and which intensified with the defeat of the People's War in Peru and the fall of the revisionist regimes in Eastern Europe. It is moreover a product of the small bourgeoisie, its social basis throughout the world largely consisting of ideologically groomed student youth, who have neither connections with the masses, experience in the labour movement, nor historical continuation with past proletarian parties and organizations. It is an adverse trend that holds back the struggle for the reunification of the Communists under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

Geronimoism is the product of the dogmato-revisionists themselves, and no one can pin the blame for this trend on Comrade Gonzalo. However, this trend is, at the same time, a continuation, defence, and further development of Gonzalo's own deviations, which have been elevated to the level of principle, thus constituting a revisionist line. This necessitates a critical evaluation of Comrade Gonzalo, who, we reaffirm, was mainly correct, an important Communist, and one of the six classics of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It also necessitates a critical evaluation of the People's War in Peru, the 1993 proposal for a peace agreement, and the Communist Party of Peru (including all its factions).

The major deviations of Comrade Gonzalo that gave birth to the Geronimoite trend were rooted in his fundamentally Hegelian, dialectical-idealist worldview, in which the role of the masses as the makers of history was replaced by the deeds of «great leaders», created, not as the result of historical necessity and accident, but as the result of «genius». (There is an essentially Lin Biao-ist edge to Gonzalo's Thought, as the result of Comrade Mao Zedong's theories, during the early Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, being transmitted to the masses and the international Communist movement, Gonzalo included, through the medium of a great deal of organizations and publications controlled by Lin Biao and Chen Boda, that is to say, through their filter.) To Gonzalo, the progress of history is not the product of the just rebellion of the masses, but the progress of the World Idea, that is, the idealized «class», «ideology», «Party», and so on, which just needs to find correct expression in the creative application by the one-person headquarters, whose correct ideas are not derived from the masses, but instead emerge in an essentially a priori way in the mind of this «great leader». Of course, Gonzalo always made sure to dress up these ideas in a lot of Marxist jargon, but the fundamentally idealist root of his worldview can always be discerned through this materialist veil. Nonetheless, he was a dialectician, and his philosophical understanding was miles ahead of that of our Geronimoites, who are the lowest metaphysicians. All of Gonzalo's deviations — the cult of the individual, the Sorelian «myth», the cult of violence, bureaucratic centralism, voluntarism, and so on — are the outgrowths of this fundamental idealist deviation. Gonzalo was a dogmatic idealist, and this germ of dogmatic idealism has been transplanted to some of his followers, in whom it has blossomed into a full-fledged disease, which now threatens to infect and mentally kill off a whole new generation of Communists.

The split in the international Communist movement — the latest step in its protracted march of collapse, which began in 1976 — is a fact. No one can drive back the wheel of history. However, there are some comrades — those who did not themselves experience first-hand the Geronimoite splits and usurpations — who disagree. They think that it is possible to reunite with the Geronimoites, to incorporate the «International Communist League» in the International Communist Forum, which was proposed by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and which has always been firmly supported by our Party.

The most egregious example of this essentially Kautskyite standpoint is the blog Maoist Road, which was set up by decision of the 2012 Special International Conference that dissolved the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement to serve as a joint organ for the struggle for the reunification of the international Communist movement, but which has been monopolized by the Maoist Communist Party of Italy, which was entrusted with the daily operation of the blog.

Worst of all, the Indian comrades take the same stand that attempts must be made to reunify with the Geronimoite trend, in spite of all the crimes that the latter has orchestrated. Thus, the Indian comrades are undermining their own proposal for the Forum and their own hard work for the past decade, which we think is a serious problem that indicates a lack of understanding of the situation in the Communist movement in the West by the Indian comrades — no doubt the result of these comrades' letting another Party handle their international relations for too long. The «frog-in-the-well» attitude of these comrades has thus led to the adoption of a Kautskyite standpoint.

In taking the Kautskyite stand, these comrades are objectively aiding the collapse of the international Communist movement, as no «reunification» with the dogmato-revisionists is possible.

All of this necessitates a revitalization of the polemics in the international Communist movement — primarily against Geronimoism, and secondarily against the modern-day Kautskyite standpoint — with the explicit intention of accepting the self-expulsion of the dogmato-revisionists, convincing the comrades with Kautskyite views that no «reunification» with the Geronimoites is possible, and uniting the Left-wing comrades who have first-hand experience with fighting against Geronimoism in their own countries — all for the purpose of forming the International Communist Forum, under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, as defined 30 years ago by the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement in the document Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!, as a step in the direction of the reconstitution of the Communist Fourth International as a world federation of independent Communist Parties, to serve the second great wave of the proletarian-socialist world revolution that will be upon us in the next decades.

For this reason, we have decided to collect the various polemics against Geronimoism and the Kautskyite standpoint in the international Communist movement, beginning with those published in Switzerland. We shall also collect reference material, such as revisionist documents, to serve this purpose. These documents will be published on this website, and can be found on the page Theoretical Struggle in the International Communist Movement.

Finally, in 2023 and '24, a number of important anniversaries are taking place in the international Communist movement: on the 1st of February, 2023, the 175th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto; on the 26th of December, 2023, the 30th anniversary of the adoption of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement; on the same day, Comrade Mao Zedong's 130th birthday; in January and April 2024, the 100th anniversary of the death of Comrade Lenin and of the definition of Leninism as the second stage of the ideology of the proletariat by Comrade Stalin; in September 2024, the 160th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' First International by Comrades Marx and Engels; and, on the 3rd of December, 2024, the 90th birthday of Comrade Gonzalo. These anniversaries should be taken as opportunities for pushing forward the struggle against revisionism, the reunification of the Communists around Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and serious study of Communist theory and practice — all of which must serve to: