The Marxist–Leninist Communist Organisation – Proletarian Way (OCML-VP) held its 9th Congress during the summer of 2014. Following a year-long process of debates, amendments, assemblies and meetings of all of the organisation’s cells, five resolutions were passed at the Congress.
It is now time to put these decisions whose significance was clear for a large majority of our membership – including our newest members – into practice, continuing to engage in internal debate, further analysis and training as and when necessary.
The OCML-VP is an organisation based on the principles of dialectical materialism and as such has always defended the need for internal debate and line struggle, rejecting the idea of a monolithic organisation, enabling us to continue and progress for over 35 years. The OCML-VP defends democratic centralism where periods of debate are decided by a majority vote, upholding a materialistic understanding of the process of knowledge, whereby no debate is definitively closed, with unity always relative while contradiction is permanent, but where it is nevertheless necessary to put an end to the debates in order to take decisions and move forwards, avoiding the risk of getting bogged down in endless clashes.
Debate has taken place and positions have been adopted and there is now a democratically built democracy in place.
The Congress provided the organisation with the opportunity to ratify the many advances made by the OCML-VP in all areas :
-The proletarisation of the organisation has improved since the previous Congress. Our Congress approved the advances made through this work involving the recruitment of workers and French and migrant proletarians and the children of workers and a policy geared to setting up militants on the shop floor. This proletarisation has gone hand in hand with a significant increase in the number of women and younger members.
-We have progressed in the way we understand our work on the shop floor : in order to build the organisation, working on the shop floor remains our main priority, focusing on working on the question of migrant labour and working together with grassroots organisations on all aspects of working-class life (family, education and healthcare, racism and nationalism versus international solidarity, sexism and homophobia, equal rights, etc.). The 9th Congress announces an intensification of our scope of action regarding our work with the working classes, with the need for direction seen as a task of critical importance for strengthening the OCML-VP as a communist organisation.
-The success of our recruitment drives and the training schools run by the OCML-VP have enabled us to train a new generation of militants. The need for training at all levels has been ratified as the only means of enabling new comrades and workers to integrate the achievements of the OCML-VP and to take full advantage of their own experiences.
Handing over leadership tasks to this new generation is a challenge for an organisation such as ours, involving a transfer of experience and knowledge built up over the last 35 years. The period ahead will be marked by young people in the leadership.
-The active and energetic assertion of the OCML-VP in the grassroots organisations via the radical transformation of the way it presents itself publically, as opposed to its excessively low profile in the past.
In order to continue with this drive, the Congress has opted to extensively overhaul our press system in order for it to better respond to our needs, with a greater response capacity for political intervention via a free bulletin printable on-demand, together with more analyses and reflections in magazine format.
-The Congress of the OCML-VP has also adopted a resolution which both centralises and collectivises all of the leadership tasks within our organisation, setting in place a new style of work as a reflection of our true proletarisation and our intention to move forwards.
-Several new tasks have been launched or relaunched, including the reactivation of our theoretical activity, now placed at the centre of our organisation, because “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement” and “There can be no revolutionary theory without revolutionary politics in command !”
Furthermore, above and beyond the debates which have always existed within our organisation, the Congress brought out into the open a genuine two line struggle, opposing two coherent yet contradictory positions which have existed since the 7th Congress and which continued to develop and take shape as coherent wholes up until the 9th Congress. The following report reflects the majority position at the Congress, which is now considered that of the organisation as a whole.
The Congress of the OCML-VP reaffirmed that while the deepening of the contradictions within global capital and the accentuated crisis are powerful factors for revolt, it also leads to confusion and reaction, as opposed to the minority positions within our organisation which insists unilaterally on a global tendency towards revolution. Revolt is not necessarily synonymous with communist revolution, and it is precisely the task of the communists to bring the two together.
The Congress of the OCML-VP reaffirmed that working class and popular awareness still remains anchored in the defence of the interests of the working class within the framework of the worker-employer dichotomy and the dominant social relations. It is, therefore, spontaneously geared to capitalist reform, be it the current reactionary trend, or new forms of reformism. The Congress rejected the minority views that argue that, given what they allege to be the current tendency towards revolution, this spontaneous reformism would amount to a political issue to be contended with.
Exploitation and oppression inevitably lead to revolt, to the embryos of revolutionary awareness, but only by adopting the concrete form of awareness and organisation though communist organisation can these embryos avoid becoming diverted and corrupted by the permanent reformist counter-trend. That is the position of the OCML-VP.
Organised reformism (parties and organisation) rely on this spontaneous tendency in order to lead the proletariat into the dead-end of capitalist reform. The Congress of the OCML-VP reaffirmed that the fight against organised reformism requires demarcation and clarification. The correct position can only arise and assert itself in opposition to these false positions, and the Communist Project can only be built by tearing down the various forms of reformism. The minority positions which were rejected relegated these issues to a secondary place, claiming to be able to head the movement of the combative masses in the belief that revolt will lead to the disappearance of organised reformism with the pressure blowing reformism apart.
This misconception is the result of their flawed analysis of capitalism and its contradictions and the nature of popular awareness. The Congress of the OCML-VP reaffirmed that its main, specific task involves building a new Communist Party by reaching out and rallying the working-class and popular vanguard, training them to become political leaders (not just leading struggles) in all areas of the class struggle. The minority positions held that, given the current period, there was no need to draw this key distinction and that we should set ourselves at the head of the movement of the combative masses in order to draw out and rally the vanguard.
These minority positions were plainly defeated and the resolutions were passed with 75% of the votes cast. Several amendments were voted and included, sometimes with a wide margin of votes, in order to clarify the different documents under discussion.
At the international level, the OCML-VP ratified its decision not to join International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organisations (ICOR), an international body whose exact profile remains far too unclear, failing to address crucial questions regarding the international situation and the tactics required to rebuild an international organisation worthy of that name. Nevertheless, the OCML-VP is determined to step up its international activity by strengthening ties, making its positions known and participating in debates. The Congress also provided us with the opportunity to reaffirm our solidarity with the revolutionary processes in India and the Philippines spearheaded by Maoist parties, taking the view that this support should be a benchmark for the International Communist Movement.
In sum, the 9th Congress of the OCML-VP marks the opening of a new period favourable towards us due to both the aggravation of the contradictions within capitalism and to the failure of the various reformist parties and organisations.
Much work remains to be done, and our organisation must continue in its efforts to move towards building a fully-fledged proletarian organisation !
Join the OCML-VP and help build a true Communist Party ! Long live marxism-leninism ! Long live maoism ! Long live the world proletarian revolution !