An abridged edition of this internet
statement 99/22 has been already published in some newsgroups. Here we now publish the complete edition of it. Uwe
Mueller, July 30, 1999
The MLPD and its "System of Self-control of the Party of a New Type"
By Walter Grobe
In September 1995, the MLPD in its
theoretical organ "Revolutionärer Weg" (#26) published a work of almost
300 pages entitled "The Struggle About the Way of Thinking in the Labor
Movement". [note 1]
In one of the final chapters taking stock of the work we read, under the heading:
"The control of the way of thinking - the system of self-control of the party of a new type" [note 2]
The control from top by the Central Control Commission (CCC). The CCC has to permanently influence the Central Committee and the organization in order to achieve in every question the necessary vigilance and sensitivity in the struggle about the way of thinking. The independent control of the CC is among its main tasks. In doing so the CCC leans on the lower level of Control Commissions being established in the party districts or in the units in the federal states. They control the respective leaderships in appropriating and independently translating the line of the party and the decisions of the CC. In particular, they concern themselves with the construction of the party from the grassroots and are closely connected to the base work of the party. The correct interaction between the organs of control and the leaderships within the system of control of the party is determined by the fact that the identical objective is possible only if the different definitions of tasks are strictly respected. [note 3]
Neither must the CCC intervene
into the leadership activities of the CC nor is the CC able to influence
the activity of the CCC. Members of the Control Commissions are not
allowed to any leadership activity because this would mean a basic conflict
of interests. In this case, an unprejudiced and all-round investigation
and education would be called into question. The other way round, the independence
of the Control Commissions would be abolished if the leaderships were able
to intervene into their work. The disagreements must be resolved by criticism
and self-criticism. About this comrade Willi Dickhut gave the hint:
"The struggle who influences whom
sometimes has to be supported also by administrative means. Control without
power is an empty phrase. This is why the Control Commissions need administrative
authority in order to be able to carry through the control. About that
it is stated in the already mentioned ‘Leitfaden’
It is directly obvious from these sentences that these Control Commissions differ fundamentally from the Control Commissions contained among the organizational principles of democratic centralism and being practised generally. These Control Commissions of the MLPD, in particular the CCC, are Commissions above the leaderships of the different levels, in particular above the CC. The MLPD has a CC which in its leadership activities is subjected to constant supervision by a body which on its part has no formal authorization to leadership. The decisions of the CC may be abolished, it can be forced to decide contrarily to its own views and subsequently to carry through this decision, by a group within the organization which has not been elected and is not answerable in practice for the leadership which it thus de facto exercises in a decisive manner. The members of these Control Commissions "are not allowed to exercise any leadership function" - thus it reads, absurdly. Of course it is nothing but leading the organization if you abolish unwelcome decisions of the leading body.
The restriction of the authorization of the CCC by its accountability to the part congress is largely formal. Obviously, an extraordinary party congress cannot virtually permanently be sitting as an organ of regular work, above all not in times of revolutionary intensification, of illegality. And even if it were able to do so it would annul the essential revolutionary element of centralism in democratic centralism. Besides, in the MLPD’s system we have at hand also the calling of a party congress logically is a decision subjected to the control of the CCC. That is to say, a CC would have hard times trying to achieve a party congress against a CCC.
Naturally, for lower organs of the
MLPD at least the same degree of control exists as for the CC. Apart from
being controlled by the regular superior organs and the members they are
controlled by Control Commissions specially attributed to them.
A further quotation from "Revolutionärer Weg" #26:
The essential thing of the interaction between the organs of control and the other sides of control consists above all in concentrating the revolutionary vigilance in the CCC. According to all the experiences of the labor movement this is a key question because the control from top must include the CC. It is necessary to prevent the advance of the petty-bourgeois way of thinking by help in the alignment of thinking and acting to the new developments in class struggle by timeley recognizing weaknesses, furthering strong points and eradicating mistakes. For that the educational work orientates itself to the tasks of party construction and class struggle which are the deciding ones at a time." (p. 250 f.)
In the MLPD the fundamental principles of revolutionary forms of organization are not valid and have been replaced by a very different form of leadership. This we learn from the passages from "Revolutionärer Weg" #26. This organization in reality is being lead by persons and bodies which for the public and the members are not standing out as the politically responsible representatives and are not recognizable as such. They are not even allowed to do so. The MLPD tears apart theory and practice, actual activity and position within the organization. This does largely resemble organizational forms of sects and fascist leagues.
Therefore the question is irresistible as to the true political character of this organization which calls itself "Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany". What is it that has to be secured by this "system of self-control"?
I do not want to forestall the reader
in his own considerations and possible investigations as to the political
character of the MLPD. [note
Here only some unsystematic
Remarks on the MLPD’s pattern of thought about the "proletarian way of thinking and petty-bourgois-intellectual way of thinking"
What is understood by this contradiction by the MLPD, and by which "way of thinking" this organization is characterized itself, can only be touched on here. It should be analyzed in detail. Although it is essentially a distortion of Marxism-Leninism and a manoeuvre for evading essential social facts, not everything in this book is worthless.
The book "The Struggle About the Way of Thinking in the Labor Movement" altogether is an extensive explanation of this pattern of thought which culminates in the control statute. This struggle even is seen by the MLPD as its present central political achievement on a world scale. In the preface it reads:
(p. 104, quoted from W. Dickhut, "Sozialismus am Ende?" Essen 1992, emph. or.)
Apart from leaving out the complete
social and political reality, this view is not logical in itself either.
The idea that there should have been a CCC superior to the CC of the CPC,
which would have been able to overlook the situation of April, 1976, in
such a way as to have been able to detect and correct "mistakes by Mao"
(resp. "mistakes by the politbureau") is a bureaucratic fantasy. Such a
body would had have to be a body with a better political overview about
the complicated political situation than the politbureau, Mao himself included.
If there had been such a body, it would had itself have to be the politically
leading body of the CC. Of course it cannot not be ruled out that even
leaders like Mao Zedong and the politbureau lead by him make mistakes,
but where were those in the CPC who had been able to correct them in 1976?
If there had been such leaders, they would have made themselves noticed
Some facts about the history of the so-called "struggle against the petty-bourgeois-intellectual way of thinking" from the part of the MLPD
The MLPD declaring itself the champion of a so-called "struggle against the petty-bourgeois-intellectual way of thinking" really is something completely screwed-up. This organization neither is in the position to claim a true struggle against the petty-bourgeoisification of the working class, on the contrary it always has been attempting to shield these conditions from criticism, nor does it have a correct position in the question of the intellectuals.
From the beginning of the Marxist-Leninist movement, since the late 60s, there was only one organization within the "ML-spectrum" in West Germany and Berlin(West) which, as it soon turned out in the discussion, was fundamentally balking at the revolutionary criticism of the phenomenon of the petty-bourgeoisified worker of imperialism, of labor aristocracy in Germany and of the trade unions firmly rooted in the capitalist system. This was the forerunner of MLPD, the "Communist Workers’ League/Marxist-Leninist" (KAB/ML - Kommunistischer Arbeiterbund/Marxisten-Leninisten), and in particular Willi Dickhut, the leader of both. The criticism of imperialist labor aristocracism in its basic outline is known to stem from nobody else but Lenin, and after 50 more years of imperialist society in Germany it was completely obvious that it had to be retaken and intensified. Just by this very fact Dickhut and the KAB/ML soon fell into disrepute as rightists.
And their position in the question of the intellectuals is above all being characterized by their defaming as "intellectual rubbish" exactly this necessary criticism of labor aristocracism and the West-German system of trade unions. In the beginning of the 70s, Dickhut and the KAB/ML fought not only our organization but virtually the whole left of then which was acting on a proletarian-revolutionary program basis, by at first flatly denying the existence of an important labor-aristocratic stratum, and by systematically standing up for the trade union leadership. They denied its activities in the realm of monopoly capitalism (the then trade unions bank, the "Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft", was the fourth-largest universal bank of the FRG, and the trade unions’ group of real estate companies, "Neue Heimat", was the largest of its kind; moreover there was the demand to penetrate into the leading positions of capitalism as a whole; these things more or less failed only later). Dickhut and his pals even stood up for the fascist anti-communist machinations of the trade union leadership such as the attempt of the IG-Metall, the largest trade union of the FRG, to urge the state to illegalize the Marxist-Leninist parties.
Rightly Dickhut and the KAB/ML during that time were generally considered the extreme right-wingers of the ml-movement, a semi-revisionist organization which properly spoken did not really belong to the revolutionary spectrum. In the book at hand it is even stated quite clearly, that actually it did not see itself as belonging to it; then, though, it disguised this fact, in an agency’s manner. (The other organizations of then had different dark aspects which as well were criticized by us and later were borne out by the complete betrayal and the self-liquidation of these organizations, but concerning the criticism of the imperialist labor aristocracy and the trade union leadership they did not close their minds to the West German reality, in contrast to Dickhut and the KAB/ML.)
To Klaus Sender, the chairman of our organization who had analyzed the character of the trade unions’ apparatus as arch-capitalistic and, in view of its fundaments, social-imperialistic in the articles "Über das Wesen des DGB" ("About the essence of the German Trade Unions Federation") of Dec. 1971, Dickhut was unable to answer. Only one-and-a-half year later, in "Revolutionärer Weg" #11, Dickhut had the paltry idea to write him off from the start as "student and not a trade union member" without having to go, in any serious fashion, into the contents. Dickhut proved to be a pedantic advocate of the imperialist labor bureaucracy. It is very typical that he erroneously thought himself able to distract from criticism by the tag "intellectual nutcase".
These facts show that the MLPD’s polemics against a "petty-bourgeois intellectual way of thinking" is deeply rooted in its own labor aristocratic fundament which rebels against the revolutionary criticism. Historically it is a matter of fact that in West Germany and Berlin(West) in the end of the sixties those who criticized revisionism, who spoke up for the proletarian revolution, for the Third World and the international proletariat essentially were people emerging from the then students’ movement, converting this agenda into beginnings of parties wich immediately tackled the amalgamation with the industrial proletariat and scored first successes in this respect. Representatives of the former communist movement like Dickhut himself took part only in individual cases. The mass of these young intellectuals came from all classes of society, not only from the petty-bourgeoisie, and their strength resulted from their radical break with the ruling conditions, inspired by the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China and the policy of Mao Zedong. Dickhut however and the KAB/ML were directly opposed to revolutionary policies and preached the impossibility of initiating a Marxist-Leninist party construction in the then situation. It was, however, only some years later that party construction was really fundamentally impeded by extreme social and political interventions from the part of the bourgeoisie. This we already often have described, the interventions consisting, for example, in des-industrialization and in the installation of ecologism as the dominant social agenda. Dickhut and the KAB/ML preached an alleged prolonged phase of "social reforms" by West German imperialism and of political dominance of the DKP-revisionists in the labor movement. As a pretext of their slandering they used certain negative aspects stemming from the petty-bourgeois or bourgeois background of the major part of the students’ movement. In the essence, however, the so-called "struggle against the petty-bourgeois-intellectual way of thinking" from the part of the people who later founded the MLPD was nothing else but the repulse of radical criticism - radical as meant by Marx - of the existing imperialist conditions, conditions within the working class included. What they fought against, pejoratively labeling it "petty-bourgeois-intellectual", was actually revolutionary intellect.
We do not know enough about the MLPD’s
internal strains of today to be able to tell, against which tendencies
within this organization the "control of thinking" is presently directed.
But in view of its whole history and ideology this is the core of the control.
Can the MLPD refer to Lenin with regard to its statute, as it attempts?
Which are "Lenin’s thoughts about the independent organs of control" allegedly taken up by the MLPD?
On p. 98 of the MLPD’s book it reads that Lenin in 1920 made the proposal
"I cannot imagine a more real guarantee for carrying through this task than the creation of this commission, of a group of comrades who could fully concentrate upon this matter and could be convinced that in this work which neither a member of the CC nor the orgbureau nor the politbureau can thoroughly deal with, they will be completely independent." (p. 205)
It is clear that this is about a new organ for the relief of the CC, under the conditions of the wars of intervention which put the existence of the young revolutionary power into question. There can be no question of a gremium higher than the CC, as expressedly created by the MLPD.
The control commissions were created according to Lenin’s proposal. The note #232 in the supplementary volume II (p. 581) says: "The conference regarded it as necessary for the struggle against several encroachments and for the investigation of the complaints of several party members to establish a control commisssion and special party commissions with the province committees."
About the development of the control commissions in practice one cannot learn much from Lenin’s works. On the X. party congress (March 1921) Lenin says about it:
(Lenin, Werke, vol. 33, p.352, About "Double" Subordination and Legality)
NB: The ban on simultaneous work which Lenin proposes is valid for organs of the state, not of the party.
These thoughts combine quite a few central political and organizational problems. It would be inappropriate to try to briefly sum them up here. Neither these articles, however, do contain anything substantially common with the MLPD’s concept. There can be no question of a body which has the right to invalidate the decisions of the CC, to dictate campaigns to the CC, and which has to consist entirely of persons who do not bear leadership responsibility anywhere else in the party. A dictatorship by forces staying more or less in the background is not at all Lenin’s intention. The CCC as envisaged here by Lenin, amalgamated with the workers’ and peasants’ inspection, is to work independently, but as an extension of the CC, as an auxiliary organ of it. Its activity, besides control of the party, extends to a high degree over the reform of the whole political and economic adminstrative apparatus of the USSR.
So, if the MLPD, in its own concept of theCCC, refers to Lenin, this is a conscious misleading, because the essence of its purpose and of its role within the party is different from the CCC as created by the KPR(B) on Lenin‘s initiative.
“Der Kampf um die Denkweise in der Arbeiterbewegung“, Essen 1995
All translations from this work are mine, W. Gr back to text
Furthermore, in NEUE EINHEIT 2/85 an article has appeared „Die MLPD und das Waldsterben“ („The MLPD and the dying of the woods“) which deals with the organization’s parroting of the bourgeois eco-catastrophe propaganda. back to text
© Copyright 1999 Verlag NEUE EINHEIT (Inh. Hartmut Dicke)