XIII. No Revolutionary Party Without Revolutionary Theory
The basis in the structure of the revolutionary party is the revolutionary theory to which it adheres. Without this theory the party becomes a mere group moving spontaneously or empirically and cannot be that force that is capable of controlling events. Revolutionary theory means clear vision and scientific approach in the understanding and analysis of events and manifestations, and consequently the ability to lead.
The revolutionary theory which presents all questions relating to humanity and the age in a scientific and revolutionary manner is Marxism. In the history of human endeavour to acquire knowledge, Marxism represents a unique attempt in understanding nature, life, society and history. Marxism has presented a theory (dialectical materialism) which analyses and explains nature and its motion and the laws governing this motion through a tangible scientific material approach which is devoid of illusion, superstition, subjective meditation, and imagination and mere verbal or logical inferences. It has then applied this same tangible scientific material approach to the study of society, the movement of society and the march of history (historical materialism), stopping particularly before the formation, structure, conflicts and movement of modern capitalist society (theory of surplus value and scientific socialism). Through all this, Marxism has presented a dialectical scientific approach which has elevated the study of history, society and political manifestations to the level of science. As the natural sciences are man’s means for controlling the phenomena of nature and using them for his benefit, so is Marxism the science which enables man to understand the progress of societies and history and to direct and influence them. Lenin completed Marx’s scientific efforts by applying the same Marxist method to the study of capitalism in its evolution towards the stage of centralisation, monopoly and colonisation, thus explaining all political manifestations and events which attended the beginning of the 20th century. On the basis of Marxism and the socialist scientific approach he was able to lead with success the first socialist revolution in history, to draw up its strategy, to face its problems and to define the features of the top of the revolutionary organization which led it on the way to victory. In this way Lenin gave Marxist theory its revolutionary modern applications so that Marxism-Leninism has become the standard of revolution in this period of human history. Like all other scientific theories, this theory has passed its validity test on the experimental ground of actuality and practice and has consequently acquired during this century all its requisites as a science. The final test of any theory or law is the compatibility of the test with that theory or law, and this is exactly what happened in the case of Marxism. The October Revolution, the revolutions in China, Cuba, and Vietnam and all revolutionary experiences throughout the world have arisen originally on the strength of this theory. This picture contrasts with the stumbling confusion and collapse of all revolutionary attempts that have not been based on this vision, this theory and this guide. It is not a mere coincidence that the October Revolution and the revolutions in China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and the socialist countries of Europe have succeeded and stood firm in the face of imperialism and in overcoming or beginning to overcome their state of underdevelopment, against the quasi-paralysis or infirmity characterising the countries of the Third World which are not committed scientifically to scientific socialist theory as their guideline for planning all their policies and defining their programmes.
The tangible materialist scientific pursuit of the events and revolutions of thisc entury is the concrete proof of the validity of Marxist theory.
Marxism as a revolutionary theoretical weapon depends on the manner in which it is understood on the one hand and its correct application to a particular circumstance or particular stage on the other. The essence of Marxism is the method which it represents in viewing and analysing things and in determining the direction of their motion. Consequently, the revolutionary understanding of Marxism is the understanding of it as a working guide and not as a fixed, rigid, doctrine. Lenin and Mao Tse Tung. and before them Marx and Engels, have recorded on more than one occasion the need for the Marxist view as a working guide and not as a rigid doctrine.
The essence of the Marxist view of human society is that it is in continuous motion and continuous change, and consequently any analysis presented by Marxism in respect of any stage or any actuality arising constantly from the old actuality. The invariable factor in Marxism is its dialectical scientific approach in viewing things in their state of continuous motion and change. This method is Marxism in its essence. It is the revolutionary theoretical weapon which enables us to view things scientifically in their state of continuous motion, development and change. Contemporary capitalism is not the same capitalism of Marx’s time without alteration or change, and the class structure of a backward society is not the same class structure as that of an industrial society. The nationalist manifestation which the European bourgeoisie tried to exploit to serve its interests is not the same nationalist manifestation appearing in backward countries where nationalism acquires a revolutionary concept as the framework for the mobilisation of enslaved peoples against imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism.
Understanding Marxism in a manner which enables us to take in all these differences and to benefit from the revolutionary theory provided by the revolutions of this century and from all the theoretical efforts which have emanated from and enriched Marxism instead of stopping and becoming fossilised at its frontiers is in fact the scientific Marxist understanding of this theory. The contrary is true of any attitude towards Marxism as a fixed doctrine.
Theory in the Marxist concept is constantly in continuous dialectical relation with actuality and practice. The fact that it is in dialectical relation with practice means, that it is in a state of growth, progress and modification and not in a fixed state.
The most dangerous thing that confronts us in our adherence to Marxist theory is understanding it in a mechanical, idealistic manner which deprives it of its ability to explain the living actuality. The benefit which we obtain from reading and understanding the writings of Marx and Lenin is confined to the limits of the knowledge presented by these writings, whereas the true benefit is that which we get when, through our deep assimilation of these writings, we acquire the method presented by Marxism-Leninism in understanding, explaining and confronting the problems of society, history and revolutionary action. Marxism as a tool for analysis and as a working guide is the weapon which we seek by acquiring this theory. On this basis, adherence to Marxism-Leninism will not produce any effect unless such adherence results in using this theory arid applying it in understanding actual conditions and formulating the working strategy which determines the nature of the stage, the nature of the battle, the definition of the conflicting forces and our view of the movement of this conflict, as well as the thorough comprehension of the concrete circumstances through which we move. By this alone – that is, the application of Marxism-Leninism to our actual living circumstances and the battle which we are fighting: our adherence to the Marxist-Leninist theory becomes meaningful and capable of being translated into results. It would be a gross error to imagine that our mere declaration of adherence to Marxism-Leninism is a fairy wand which will open before us the road to victory. If there are examples of what Marxism-Leninism has represented in respect to certain revolutions, such as those of China and Vietriam, there are corresponding examples where adherence to Marxism-Leninism has not led to anything. The Arab communist parties which are formally and verbally committed to Marxism-Leninism have not been able to lead the revolution in our homeland because their commitment has been verbal, or because they have under stood the theory in a rigid and fossilised manner, or because they have not been able to apply this theoretical weapon to our actual living circumstances in such a way as to deduce from it a clear view of the battle and a sound strategy for its leadership.
Our commitment to scientific socialist theory would be mere verbiage, mere illusion and escapism, unless this commitment means a mature comprehension of this theory by our leading members in the first place and our party bases in general. Such comprehension cannot be achieved without a great study effort which must be exerted over a long period. On the other hand, the value of this commitment depends on the nature of our understanding of this theory as a tool of analysis, as a method in handling questions of revolutionary action and as a working guide, and ot as a rigid theory. The acquisition of Marxist-Leninist approach should be the purpose of this effort and study. Furthermore, the value of our commitment to Marxism. Leninism lies eventually in the application of this approach to the conditions of our struggle for the purpose of formulating revolutionary strategy and tactics. Unless we raise our commitment to Marxism-Leninism to this level, it will remain a commitment of intellectuals to a theory which serves them in discussion and not the commitment of a revolutionary party to a theory which opens before it a clear view of the battle. Finally, the definitive usefulness of this all depends on the great efforts which must be displayed for the sound application of this strategy, for otherwise it would remain a mere plan which will not see the light of day.
Such commitment with these meanings and results will prepare for the spread of leftist revolutionary thought among the masses of our people and will enable this thought to overcome the obstacles laid in its way. The masses of our people will not define their position with regard to scientific socialist thought in the light of , a purely theoretical judgement of this thought. Their position will be defined in the light of the tangible results produced by this thought with regard to their fight against their enemies and exploiters. When this thought succeeds in converting the Palestinian and Arab field into a rising popular liberation war arena which will shake the Israeli-Zionist imperialist-reactionary presence in our homeland, as is taking place in Vietnam, these masses will realise that this theory was their most powerful weapon in their fight against their enemies. In this way all obstacles both real and imaginary, which stand in the face of this theory today will disappear.
The thought which now prevails among our masses is the rightist thought because of the preponderance of reaction and colonialism. Moreover, the failure of the communist parties and their attitude towards the issues of the masses, such as those of unity, nationalism and Israel, has produced in the minds of the masses a confusion between Marxist thought and these attitudes. To all this must be added the constant attempts by the reactionary and colonialist elements to distort this thought and present it as inimical to their national feeling and heritage. Finally there is the distorted picture of this thought presented to the masses by the immature, infantile leftism which speaks of this thought in a manner that is not understood by the masses, a manner that appears strange to them and to the handling of their urgent problems. However, the positive results produced by the sound understanding and application of Marxism-Leninism will assure this thought of finding its way in our homeland so that we may be able on its basis to build our new life, our scientific understanding of life and our new modem values.
Within this context the Popular Front adopts Marxist-Leninist theory as a basic strategic line for the building of the revolutionary party on a solid theoretical basis which will unify its thinking and view of the battle and will enable it to mobilise the masses to exert their efforts in one direction which will make of them a solid force capable of achieving victory.