Most of the socialist, workers’ and communist parties in the post-Soviet space arose during the collapse of the USSR and in the nineties. Programs, tactical approaches, and organizational structures carried immediate tasks on the one hand, and numerous mistakes of the late CPSU on the other. This is the result of an unorganized, spontaneous, unprepared and ill-considered retreat. As well as the phenomenon of communist multiparty system.
In the mid—fifties, new youth forms of movement towards communist ideology emerged — circles. An ideological and organizational gap has formed between the old parties and circles. At the same time, the circles repeat the old mistakes, albeit in a new way, refusing to distinguish between Menshevism and Bolshevism in organizational terms, Trotskyism and Bolshevism in ideological terms. If the parties hardly studied, preferring to use the old dogmatic forms and symbols, then the circles studied everything in a row, waiting for a «magical» enlightenment after reading Capital. In turn, the class struggle of the proletariat took place separately and the Communists reacted to it only upon the fact of protests and strikes.
Among all the parties, circles, and movements, the Bolshevik trend created by Comrade Nina Andreeva consistently maintained the revolutionary line. Unfortunately, it also initially split into two parties, the VKPB and the VKP(b), which developed independently for several decades. But their programs stubbornly maintained a course towards the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and their charters — democratic centralism. The tactics of boycotting chosen in the 90s fully corresponded to that era, because in the conditions of not yet fully strengthened capitalism, the revolutionary situation was still on the face and the uprising of the working class could break out at any moment. The parties were still living with fresh memories of the struggle for the Supreme Soviet in 1993.
But the revolutionary tension cannot last too long. Both parties entered the new millennium with an increasing tendency towards leadership, while turning the tactics of the nineties into the wrong strategy. And the turbulent nineties were replaced by a bourgeois reaction, which marked the transition, at least in Russia, to imperialism. It was necessary to change programs, return organizations to the principle of democratic centralism. And this demand of the time was reflected in the crisis of the two Bolshevik parties. Since 2013, there have been several splits in both the VKP(b) and the VKPB. In addition, new groups emerged, which, taking advantage of the simultaneous use of the historical name by several emerging factions, also called themselves the VKP(b).
The current situation required the speedy unification of the healthy forces of the Bolsheviks, the correction of tactics and the creation of a new program.
Sverdlovsk Congress of the VKPB
In November 2021, a congress of the VKPB was held in Sverdlovsk. Only one of the four factions that formed after Nina Andreeva’s death was able to organize it. In this case, the very fact of holding the congress, its good organization and the desire of its participants to continue the revolutionary struggle are important.
It was at the congress that the first contact took place between a member of the Central Committee of the VKP(b) and the delegates of the Congress of the VKPB. This contact showed the same views of the two parties, a common desire to restore a militant, Leninist-organized party. The result was the signing of an alliance agreement.
In December 2021, an inter-party body, the Joint Plenum of the Central Committee of the VKP(b) and the Central Committee of the VKPB, was created to coordinate and prepare the unification, and during 2022, three Inter-Party conferences were held that approved the stages of unification and the decisions of the Joint Plenum.
Working groups were created, including for the development of draft Programs and Statutes, and since April, discussions of projects written by these groups in organizations of both parties and individually began. This allowed to reduce the time of the Congress.
A struggle was also expected for the name of the party. It was assumed that the members of the VKPB would defend their name, and the VKP (b) — their own. Some of the party members assumed that there would be a struggle for the new leadership of the party. Therefore, from the very beginning it was decided to introduce the same quota for the number of delegates to the unification congress in each party. These expectations and assumptions, even at the start of the process, first created the opposition, and then a faction within the VKP(b) contrary to the party’s Charter. The problem of fighting factionalism had to be solved by convening the XI Extraordinary Congress of the VKP(b), at which the line against factionalism triumphed. However, this did not save from another split. And if the splits in the VKPB took place before the Sverdlovsk Restoration Congress, then in the VKP (b) — after the XI extraordinary. We are now informing readers about these «difficulties» of formation, because time has shown that it was precisely these «difficulties» and conflicts that led to the cleansing of the Bolshevik movement from opportunism.
Only at first glance it might seem that conflicts, factions, splits were the result of an exclusively organizational process, the desire of part of the leadership of the parties to preserve their position, party traditions, names, etc.
Organizational processes and unification provoked a crisis, which was based on old not fully clarified disagreements and incorrect compromises accumulated at a time of stagnation, which itself was caused by the general political reaction in the post-Soviet space.
Most of the splinters of the VKPB and VKP(b) acted today as conduits of opportunism. They fundamentally failed to see the revolutionary situation in Kazakhstan and indiscriminately condemned all the forces that rose up there to fight, including the proletariat. And then they took the position of defending some reactionary governments against others. The source of this movement to the right was imperialist economism, discovered by Lenin, that is, the denial of the struggle for democratic transformations after the bourgeois revolutions and under imperialism. This view of a «newborn», but very old opportunism first narrowed its struggle on revolutionary propaganda among only the workers, and then turned the workers themselves into a myth and reactionaries, if they followed the democratic bourgeoisie, and not our super-revolutionaries, contrary to the rules.
Discussion of the name of the party
The reasons for the rejection of the historical name are stated in the Congress Statement itself. The need to adopt a new name was «in the air.» This was often discussed at meetings by workers, novice Marxists, and many members of both parties.
But the decision on the new name and its choice were made on the basis of democratic centralism. Initially, the Joint Plenum of the Central Committee of the VKP(b) and the VKPB proposed to the Inter-Party Conference to consider this possibility, then the members of the Central Committee themselves presented new draft names and invited party members to make their own projects. Then, at one of the meetings, the Joint Plenum voted for all the options and selected the five projects with the highest number of votes. These draft titles were presented to the First Congress of the MLPB and then the delegates voted in two stages. Two historical names were also presented in the discussion and voting, but in the end, the project that became the name of the new party received the majority of votes: The Marxist-Leninist Bolshevik Party (MLPB).
The congress was held on November 5, 6, 2022 in one of the conference halls of Kazan. Kazan was chosen as the main city of the congress due to the fact that it was easier for delegates from different parts of Russia and neighboring countries to get to this city. The VKP(b) provided financial assistance to the delegate who was traveling from the Far East, as a result, he was able to represent the most geographically distant organization of the party. Some delegates were still unable to come for various reasons and therefore participated in the work of the congress through an electronic conference.
On the first day, organizational and political reports and reports on the workers’ and youth movement were heard. Unfortunately, we did not have time to hear the second political report from the representative of the VKPB. And that’s why we will publish it in the coming days.
Then the Program, the Charter and the name of the party were considered. The draft Program and Charter were adopted as a whole, and then amendments and proposals to these documents collected during the preparatory period were proposed. Most of the amendments and proposals were adopted by the Congress. In connection with the adoption of a new Program, a new Charter and a new name of the party, it was decided to change the status of the unification congress to a constituent one and a Statement was prepared on the establishment of the Marxist-Leninist Bolshevik Party.
On the second day, the congress, according to the new Charter, determined the number of members of the Central Committee, the General Party Bureau, the Central Committee and the Central Committee. After that, elections were held to all these committees. The elections for each candidate were competitive. Some comrades were proposed by the delegates and entered the governing and controlling bodies, and some were rejected. Many new faces have appeared in the leadership of the party. She set a course for a generational change in the assets of the Bolshevik movement.
During the break, the newly created committees and Bureaus met to elect their secretaries (chairmen) and distribute responsibilities. We will provide a separate summary report on the first Plenum of the Central Committee.
After the break, the Statement on the creation of the MLPB was approved, the delegates were informed about the elections in the governing and controlling bodies. In addition, a resolution was considered on the tactics of the Bolsheviks until the next congress. The resolution was adopted.
The congress has closed
In addition to the delegates, the congress was attended by guests from the Marxist School.PRO and the union of crane operators «Unity». Party members talked to non-party workers and left-wing activists during breaks. In addition, on some issues, the guests made their suggestions, which had a certain impact on the decisions and on the future work of the party.
Results of the congress
It is too early to talk about the strategic importance of the MLPB congress. But some results are noticeable right now.
Two parties that were once a single entity united, went through conflicts, factional struggle, split and found the strength to create a common organization. This is an important sign for the liberation movement of the working class.
Bolshevism received a party that was able to purge itself of opportunism, social chauvinism, and what the masses call «mummers.» The party is ready for action not in words, and not only on holidays it remembers revolutionary tasks.
A political program has been created that is based on the provisions of Marxism-Leninism and takes into account modern realities in their historical development.
delegate of the Congress