The Mass Line and the American Revolutionary Movement

18. Strategy, Tactics and the Mass Line

I mentioned above that the mass line applies to both questions of tactics and strategy. Few would likely dispute that using the mass line is important in formulating tactics, but I suspect that there may be those who would deny it has any applicability in the formulation of strategy. There has been a tendency in the American revolutionary movement to greatly restrict the concept of 'strategy', even to reduce it to a single principle.

The origin of this tendency seems to lie in Stalin's use of the terms 'strategy' and 'tactics' in his pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism. He says for example that "Strategy deals with the main forces of the revolution and their reserves."[1] It is true that a couple pages earlier he says that

Strategy is the determination of the direction of the main blow of the proletariat at a given stage of the revolution, the elaboration of a corresponding plan for the disposition of the revolutionary forces (main and secondary reserves), the fight to carry out this plan throughout the given stage of the revolution.[2]

This implies that the question of the main and reserve forces of the revolution is only part of the strategy. But overall his emphasis here is definitely on the question of class analysis and class relationships.

This narrow point of view became standard within the international communist movement, or at least that part of it which depended exclusively on the Soviet Union to do its thinking for it. For instance we find the following comment in a little book widely destributed by the CPUSA, An Introduction to Marxism, by Emile Burns:

The problem of strategy for a working-class party of the new type was the problem of winning not only the working class but also other sections of the people for the joint struggle against what in each country, at a particular time, was the main enemy of social advance.[3]

In other words, the "problem of strategy" amounts to little more than building a united front! (And you wondered where that idea came from! I might add that many anti-revisionist 60s radicals also started their Marxist education with Burns' little book or similar things.)

In the late 1960s the newly reborn American revolutionary movement began to consider the question of the correct strategy for proletarian revolution in this country. As with so many other key questions of the day, it was the Revolutionary Union (main predecessor to the RCP) which led the way, especially with the important paper "The United Front Against U.S. Imperialism: Strategy For Proletarian Revolution", published in Red Papers 2.[4]

There were certain people at that time, including some who went on to found the short-lived revisionist outfit, "The Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)", who denied the RU thesis that the United Front Against Imperialism was the strategy for proletarian revolution in the U.S. As they put it,

It must be emphasized that the united front against imperialism can only be a tactical orientation of the proletariat, not a strategy, since strategy means a plan for the basic realignment of class forces, which in the U.S. as a whole can only mean the undivided power of the proletariat acting in the interests of the overwhelming masses of the world's people.[5]

The RU's United Front article showed how this interpretation amounted to trying to sucker-in or trick the potential allies of the proletariat, how it would lead to isolation and defeat, and so forth. It also answered a number of confusions in the minds of its critics concerning such things as the supposed equivalence of the United Front strategy with a "two-stage revolution", first a "democratic" revolution and only later a proletarian revolution. In all this the RU paper was quite correct and played a very important and progressive role at the time.

However there were also some weaknesses and shortcomings in the RU paper. It said for example that

We agree with the definition of strategy given, "a plan for the basic realignment of class forces", if it is understood to mean "a plan for proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship." Our "plan" or "strategy" for the proletarian revolution in this country is precisely the United Front.[6]

Here the RU article seems to say that the definition of strategy as "a plan for the basic realignment of class forces" is only correct if viewed as being the same thing as ("meaning") "a plan for proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship". Thus both sides in the debate at that time more or less adopted Stalin's use of the terms 'strategy' and 'tactics' in The Foundations of Leninism.

There is however a more standard use of these terms which derives from the theory of warfare, but which has also been applied by Marxists to more general discussions of revolutionary theory. Stalin himself, on other occasions, used the terms 'strategy' and 'tactics' more closely to this standard usage:

The most important function of strategy is to determine the main direction which ought to be taken by the working-class movement, and along which the proletariat can most advantageously deliver the main blow at its enemy in order to achieve the aims formulated in the programme. A strategic plan is a plan of the organization of the decisive blow in the direction in which the blow is most likely to achieve the maximum results.[7]

Tactics are a part of strategy, subordinated to and serving it. Tactics are not concerned with the war as a whole, but with its individual episodes, with battles and engagements. Strategy strives to win the war, or to carry through the struggle, against czarism let us say, to the end; tactics, on the contrary, strive to win particular engagements and battles, to conduct particular campaigns successfully, or particular operations, that are more or less appropriate to the concrete situation of the struggle at each given moment.[8]

Since tactics exist to serve strategy, they are typically far less stable than strategy, and speaking loosely, "less principled." Indeed it is hard to think of any policy that is never appropriate tactically. As Abbie Hoffman put it, "There is a time to run, a time to fight, a time to be silent, a time for every tactic the imagination can dream up, I suppose."[9]

Strategy and tactics together form a plan to achieve victory in a given struggle. Strategy is the overall plan for accomplishing this; tactics are subsidiary plans and methods appropriate to varying circumstances which arise in the course of the overall struggle. Sometimes these distinctions are not drawn, or are drawn differently; nothing requires that they be drawn, or that they be drawn in just this way. Thus Lenin often seems to ignore the strategy/tactics dichotomy and to speak solely in terms of "tactics" when he is discussing revolutionary plans.[10] Mao, following traditional Chinese thinking on military theory in this regard, sometimes draws a tripartite distinction here, recognizing not only strategy and tactics but also an intermediary category, "the science of campaigns".[11] Generally, however, the strategy/tactics distinction is made, and made in the way I have indicated, both in Marxist writings and in non-Marxist writings on military theory.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica has an interesting discussion of military strategy and tactics which, however, lacks dialectics:

In the theory of warfare, strategy and tactics have generally been put into separate categories. The two fields have traditionally been defined in terms of different dimensions: strategy dealing with wide spaces, long periods of time, and large movements of forces, tactics dealing with the opposite. Strategy is usually understood to be the prelude to the battlefield, and tactics the action on the battlefield itself.[12]

The discussion in the Britannica recognizes that there is no sharp line, no firm demarcation between strategy and tactics. But in addition to this there is another more dialectical interrelationship: what is tactics in one context can be strategy in another. "Wide spaces", "long periods" and "large amounts" are all relative terms; "wide", "long" and "large" all vary with the context. Is a decade a "long period"? Not if you are considering the whole of human history. If we consider the strategy, the overall plan, of the world proletarian revolutionary process, a process that has been underway for a century and a half and is probably not even half over, then particular revolutions, and the methods used in them—say the Chinese Revolution up through 1949—might almost be considered as tactics within the framework of the overall world revolution. If instead we focus on a single revolution, then the strategy is the overall plan for that revolution, and particular battles and campaigns—and the methods used in them—count as tactics. And again, if we focus on a particular campaign, say the 52-day Liao-Shenyang military campaign in September-November 1948, there was a strategy, an overall plan for this campaign, just as there were various tactics employed in the course of it. Similarly each battle in this campaign, and even each skirmish in each battle, could be viewed as having a strategy, overall plan, as well as subsidiary tactics. The strategy/tactics dichotomy is inextricably related to the particular process being discussed, to the particular goal being aimed at. Whatever the goal, be it large or small, strategy is the overall plan for achieving that goal, while tactics are subsidiary plans and methods.

Mao, an exquisite dialectician, views things in a way very similar to this:

Wherever there is war, there is a war situation as a whole. The war situation as a whole may cover the entire world, may cover an entire country, or may cover an independent guerrilla zone or an independent major operational front. Any war situation of such a character as to require comprehensive consideration of its various aspects and stages forms a war situation as a whole.
     The task of the science of strategy is to study those laws for directing a war situation as a whole. The task of the science of campaigns and the science of tactics is to study those laws for directing a war that govern a partial situation.[13]

What kinds of questions come up under the heading of strategy? Well, to a degree it depends on the type of struggle being discussed, of course. But with respect to revolutionary war, Mao lists a number of strategic considerations in the same article just quoted from. These include such points as the relation between the people and the enemy; between various campaigns; between various operational stages; between the specific campaigns and the overall struggle; identifying the decisive battles; considering the special features contained in the general situation; considering what reserves are available; and many other things.

Of course a key part of the strategy for any kind of revolutionary struggle is the appraisal of one's forces and those of the enemy, which since it is a question of class struggle, means making an analysis of the various classes: who are our friends, and who are our enemies. Mao lists this point first, and for a Marxist this is always the starting point.[14] We cannot however stop there; it is really wrong to reduce revolutionary strategy to just this single point. If this is not already clear enough, consider this: Isn't mass armed insurrection and revolutionary civil war part of the strategy for proletarian revolution in this country, and a very central part at that? Of course mass insurrection should come only when conditions are ripe, and other forms of struggle must be used until that point. But mass armed insurrection is nevertheless a key point in the strategy for proletarian revolution in advanced capitalist countries like the U.S., and not simply a question of tactics which may or may not prove necessary.

One of the problems with the early RU position that the United Front Against Imperialism is the strategy for proletarian revolution in the U.S. was that it led to a deemphasis on strategic revolutionary thinking. It seemed to say that the basic plan for revolution was already complete, at least in its essentials. Because of this, both right and "left" opportunist lines were able to do more damage than they might otherwise have been capable of. It could have been argued for example that mass insurrection was "of course" assumed to be part of the proletarian revolutionary strategy in the U.S. But this was not assumed by at least one-third of the very RU which put out Red Papers 2, a fact which became evident later on when the followers of Bruce Franklin split off to attempt their own foolhardy and ill-fated strategy for "proletarian" revolution in the U.S., namely urban guerrilla warfare by the lumpenproletariat.

A corollary to the view that the United Front Against Imperialism is the (entire) strategy for revolution is the view that any further development of a revolutionary plan amounts to fleshing out the theory of the United Front, developing methods of building the United Front, and so forth. Right in the RU's United Front paper itself we find a development of this kind, the "Five Spearheads of Anti-Imperialist Struggle". These were the struggle against: 1) national oppression of minorities in the U.S., 2) imperialist aggression against other countries, 3) fascism, 4) the oppression of women, and 5) the attack on the living standards of the working class. It is of course by no means incorrect to wage struggle on all these fronts (and others as well). But the United Front paper seems to present these five spearheads as the full content of revolutionary work, at least for that period. It says that a genuine communist party must be built, but evidently the five spearheads were even the means toward accomplishing that. The paper also seems to suggest that an ideology of "anti-imperialist consciousness" can be built around these five spearheads, implying that communists should push this watered-down "intermediate ideology" to the masses and not communist ideology. It is very possible that this reformist view in the United Front paper was the furthest thing from the minds of the RU leadership, but in point of fact rightist interpretations of this sort were widely adopted in the organization. Because the paper does not put forward the importance of revolutionary (communist) agitation and propaganda (among other revolutionary tasks), it does lean toward a reformist program of struggle around the issues encompassed by the five spearheads.

As far as I am aware the RCP has not fully summed up the rightist dangers involved in the view that the United Front Against Imperialism is the (sole) strategy for proletarian revolution in the U.S. In the August 1978 issue of Revolution, for example, they say:

[The "Menshevik" splitters from the RCP] point out that the RU was insisting on the need to go to the workers, at a time when others were carrying on about how the workers had all sold out, were hopelessly backward, etc., and it was the youth/lumpenproletariat or whatever who were going to make revolution in this country.
     But these Mensheviks completely leave out what line the RU was taking to the working class. They completely leave out the fact that, from the first, the RU upheld as the strategy for revolution in this country the united front against imperialism under proletarian leadership, and that it was this strategic orientation that guided its work.[15]

And as of this writing the class analysis section of the current RCP party programme is still entitled "A United Front Under Its Leadership is the Proletariat's Strategy for Revolution".[16] Moreover, the outline for an RCP study group on the "Line of the RCP" organized in April 1991 in the S.F. Bay Area had one of the six sessions listed as "The united front as the strategy for revolution in the USA." And, in a November 1996 article in the the Party newspaper, Bob Avakian talks again about uniting all who can be united into a United Front under the leadership of the proletariat as the strategy for revolution, never hinting that there may be additional elements to revolutionary strategy as well.[17] So there is no doubt that this view is still the official line of the Party.

On the other hand, in issue #5 of the old RCP theoretical journal, The Communist, it says:

While overall the early revolutionary programs formulated by the RU (in its theoretical journal Red Papers, beginning with issues 1 and 2) were an advance in pointing the way toward proletarian revolution, they were relatively primitive and they did contain some tendencies toward economism. This stemmed from several things: an overreaction to these dogmatists [who viewed activity among the masses as a "diversion" from revolutionary tasks—JSH], primitiveness, the pull of spontaneity, and some influence from the "good" period of the CPUSA. (In rediscovering Marxism, there was the inevitable rediscovery of this "good" period of the CPUSA, in addition to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao). This tendency is evidenced in the "five spearheads of struggle" put forward in Red Papers 2 (the spearhead formulation itself reflected the primitiveness of the period), where the fifth spearhead, "Unite the Proletariat to Resist the Monopoly Capitalists' Attack on Living Standards" is described as "the fulcrum for communists and the proletariat as a whole".[18]

It seems to me that the RCP has strongly repudiated the reformist and economist tendencies involved here but has not yet fully realized that the view of the United Front as the strategy for revolution helped foster this rightist deviation, at least to a degree. Theoretical weaknesses of this sort are never the sole explanation for opportunist deviations, but they can play a role in them. The "five spearheads" formulation did serve to push the RU in the direction of economism, and it was probably inevitable that any revolutionary strategy based solely on the United Front concept (at least as far as it was formally spelled out) would lead in a rightist direction. At the time this was not understood; I know I certainly did not understand this two decades ago, even though I questioned the notion that the United Front was the sum-total of revolutionary strategy.

Unfortunately not everyone has repudiated the economist and reformist errors of that period. Some groups which call themselves communists have enshrined these tendencies and deviations into full-fledged, and hardened opportunist lines. Twenty-five years ago there was some kind of excuse for our errors in that we were all beginners and no one in this country was putting forward a fully revolutionary line on these questions. Today there is no longer any excuse—save opportunism (if that is an "excuse")—for continuing to hold to these old rightist errors. (For more on the American revolutionary movement see chapters 40-42 especially.)

Is Our Revolutionary Strategy Already Completely Known?

We have established that there is much more to revolutionary strategy than a single principle, or even two or three. But even if there are a large number of principles involved in strategy isn't it possible that they have all been discovered already? After all there have been a number of successful proletarian revolutions over the years (which unfortunately have now been temporarily reversed—but that is beside the point). It is conceivable, I suppose, that one revolution could parallel another so closely that identical strategies could be used in them, though not of course identical tactics. But so far history has shown a much larger difference between revolutions than can be considered mere tactical variations. The strategy of the Russian Revolution was to seize the large cities first and only afterwards the countryside. But Mao showed that in China this fundamental strategic principle had to be reversed. The strategy for proletarian revolution in the U.S. differs from both the Russian and Chinese models in being a single stage revolution not preceded by a new-democratic revolution. And so forth.

Moreover, it is by no means clear that even in a single revolution the correct strategy will be known right from the very beginning, at least in its entirety. And even if the strategy is entirely correct at first, the conditions may change so fundamentally that the strategy (and not just the tactics) will also have to change. These points are not always recognized. Stalin, for instance, says that strategy "changes with the passing of the revolution from one stage to another, but remains basically unchanged through a given stage".[19] Now of course it all depends on what is meant by "stages" here. If a new "stage" means a part of the overall revolution governed by a fixed strategy, then Stalin's comment would amount to a tautology. But this is not what he means. For him "stages" are determined by the various objectives in different periods. In Russia for example the first "stage" of the revolution had the goal of overthrowing the tsarist autocracy, and was therefore successfully completed in March 1917 (with the "February" Revolution). As we saw above, however, it is possible to consider the strategy of the overall Russian revolution just as it is possible to consider the strategies of each of its stages (and of each of the battles in each of its stages, etc.). And looking at it from this overall point of view it is obvious that the strategy did change, did develop, in the course of the revolution. Therefore, despite Stalin's comment, and as a general rule at least, strategy may well need to change and develop in the course of a revolution.

Furthermore even within a single stage (in Stalin's sense) it is quite possible that strategy may need to change and develop. Let us suppose that when it gets down to this level, any fundamental change in objective conditions sufficient to require a change in strategy would automatically determine a new "stage" and that therefore a single strategy corresponds with a given stage. Even so, this single strategy is not necessarily known at first, in its entirety, and therefore what is viewed as the correct strategy may still need to develop, to change. Strategy may need to change in the sense that it needs to become fully correct and appropriate for the given revolutionary stage if it didn't start out that way.

Now to be sure, dogmatists and "formula Marxists" will always assume that their revolutionary strategy is fully correct right from the start. They are the worst kind of know-it-alls, the kind that really doesn't know. The actual history of revolutions shows that it is necessary to keep an open mind about strategic questions as well as tactical ones, to constantly study the objective conditions and to consider new ideas, and to make even strategic adjustments if they prove necessary.

Has the strategy for world revolution remained static since the time of the Communist Manifesto? Merely to ask the question is to see the absurdity of the idea. Not only tactics, but strategy as well has changed as the proletariat has accumulated experience in revolutionary struggle. It is wrong to see strategy as something fixed for all time, unchanging and unchangeable. All the strategic principles of the world revolution were not known right from the very beginning of the world proletarian struggle. Some have been learned since Marx's day; some since Lenin's day. Others no doubt still remain to be discovered, and if so will be summed up from revolutionary practice just as new tactics are.

Even in a single revolution not everything is known from the beginning—not even the basic plan in many cases. Neither Mao nor anyone else had the fundamental strategy of the Chinese revolution worked out from the beginning. Don't just take my word for this; Mao points this out himself!

It was not until the period of the War of Resistance Against Japan that we formulated a general line for the Party and a whole set of specific policies that suited the prevailing conditions. It was only then that we came to understand the Chinese democratic revolution, this realm of necessity, and that we gained freedom. By that time, we had already been making revolution for some 20 years. Through all those years there was a considerable degree of blindness in our revolutionary work. If anyone claims that any comrade—for instance, any comrade of the Central Committee, or for that matter I myself—completely understood the laws governing the Chinese revolution right from the start, then he is a braggart and you must on no account believe him. It just wasn't so. In the past, and especially in the early years, all we had was a passion for revolution, but when it came to how to make revolution, what the targets were, which targets should come first and which later, and which had to wait until the next stage, we didn't have clear or at least wholly clear ideas for a fairly long time.[20]

Mao repeated this on other occasions as well.[21] And he summed this all up from a philosophical standpoint in "On Practice":

...generally speaking, whether in the practice of changing nature or of changing society, men's original ideas, theories, plans or programmes are seldom realized without any alteration. This is because people engaged in changing reality are usually subject to numerous limitations; they are limited not only by existing scientific and technological conditions but also by the development of the objective process itself and the degree to which this process has become manifest (the aspects and the essence of the objective process have not yet been fully revealed). In such a situation, ideas, theories, plans or programmes are usually altered partially and sometimes even wholly, because of the discovery of unforeseen circumstances in the course of practice.[22]

Is the Mass Line Relevant to Strategy As Well As to Tactics?

We are at last finally ready to raise the basic question for this chapter: Given that it is necessary ("sometimes", anyway) to correct or further develop revolutionary strategy, have we anything to learn from the masses in doing this? In other words, is the mass line relevant to the question of strategy? History answers an emphatic yes.

Consider first the Russian Revolution. Part of the successful Bolshevik "overall plan" for proletarian revolution was "All power to the Soviets!". But this was not part of their strategy in the early years; it could hardly have been part of their strategy before the Soviets were first created by the masses in 1905! On many, many occasions Lenin emphasized the crucial importance of the Soviets in the revolution, and praised the creative role of the masses in building them. He said for example that:

Had not the popular creative spirit of the Russian revolution, which had gone through the great experience of the year 1905, given rise to the Soviets [again] as early as February 1917, they could not under any circumstances have assumed power in October, because success depended entirely upon the existence of available organizational forms of a movement embracing millions....
     The task of creating the political power [of the proletariat] was an extremely easy one because the masses had created the skeleton, the basis for this power.[23]

The initiative of the masses in creating the Soviets was indispensable to the success of the revolution, said Lenin. But more than that, also indispensable was the recognition of the importance of the Soviets on the part of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. It was in fact a fine example of the application of the mass line on the part of Lenin that he was able to recognize this important innovation for what it was—a means to revolution, a new component in an overall strategy for proletarian revolution. This is in fact one of my favorite examples of the successful application of the mass line. (And it is also my prime counter-example to the claim that Lenin did not use the mass line. See chapter 34.)

Other examples of change in strategy in the Russian Revolution could also be given. For example a new stage in the revolution began with the seizure of power in October 1917. At first the strategic perspective was just to hold on until proletarian revolution in Germany and other countries could come to their aid. But Lenin and Stalin (if not Trotsky) were able to recognize, as conditions changed and a temporary capitalist consolidation set in, that this strategy had to be replaced by one of "socialism in one country". Of course it was primarily the failure of other revolutions which led to this strategic change (a recognition of changed objective conditions), but it also involved learning from the Russian masses that despite their fatigue and suffering they were determined to continue the revolution no matter what the difficulties. In other words the mass line was also involved here (informally).

Consider next the Chinese revolution. I quoted Mao above saying that neither he nor anyone else had a basic plan for revolution worked out right from the beginning. (Some people such as the "28 1/2 Bolsheviks", dogmatists returned from study in the Soviet Union, thought they had it all figured out of course.) Mao and the other Chinese Communist leaders had to learn as they went along. Who and what did they learn from?

As I have said before, we have [done] nothing marvelous, only things we have learnt from ordinary people. Of course, we have learnt a little Marxism-Leninism, but Marxism-Leninism alone won't do. [We] must study Chinese problems, starting from the characteristics and facts of China.[24]

In short, a study of objective conditions and the experiences and ideas of the masses. Even when it comes to the very first question of strategy, that of class analysis, Mao says it was the peasants who taught him how to draw the appropriate distinctions:

My 1933 investigation at Ku-t'ien [which resulted in Mao's essay "How to Differentiate the Classes in the Rural Areas", SW1:137] reflected the opinions of the peasants, and was the opinions of the peasants issuing from my lips.[25]

And the same thing is true with many other important questions, both strategic and tactical ones. It seems like Mao is always talking about the importance of learning from the masses in his writings, and for a very good reason indeed: he himself learned how to lead the great Chinese revolution from the masses. He even goes so far as to say:

The Selected Works of Mao, how much of it is mine! It is a work of blood. The struggle in the soviets [old Chinese base areas—JSH] was very acute. Because of the errors of the Wang Ming line we had to embark on the 25,000 li [8,000 mile] Long March. These things in The Selected Works of Mao were taught to us by the masses and paid for with blood sacrifices.[26]

All revolutionary strategy and tactics comes ultimately from the experience of the masses in struggle. Many of the main strategic principles to be learned have already been summed up in Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory. But other things undoubtedly remain to be learned and to be summed up in the future. Therefore even with respect to such basic questions as revolutionary strategy, we need, along with the conscientious study of Marxism, an equally conscientious study of objective conditions and the ideas of the masses. The mass line is the primary and absolutely indispensable tool for accomplishing this.


[1] Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1970), p. 86.

[2] Ibid., p. 84.

[3] Emile Burns, An Introduction to Marxism (NY: International Publishers, 1966), 4th printing 1972, p. 104.

[4] Actually, when Red Papers 2 was published in late 1969, the RU was still known as "The Bay Area Revolutionary Union".

[5] Quoted in Red Papers 2, p. 9.

[6] Ibid., p. 9.

[7] Stalin, "Concerning the Question of Strategy and Tactics of the Russian Communists" (March 14, 1923), Works, Vol. 5, p. 166.

[8] Ibid., p. 169.

[9] Abbie Hoffman, Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture (NY: Perigee Books/G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1980), p. 251.

[10] At other times Lenin speaks in terms of "programme and tactics", as in his article "The Tasks of the Revolution" (Sept. 1917), LCW 26:60.

[11] Mao, "Problems of Strategy in China's Revolutionary War" (1936), Selected Military Writings of Mao Tsetung (Peking: FLP, 1963), p. 79. See also footnote 1 referred to there (p. 145).

[12] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed. (1979), "Warfare, Conduct of", Vol. 19, p. 559.

[13] Mao, "Problems of Strategy in China's Revolutionary War" (1936), Selected Military Writings of Mao Tsetung (Peking: FLP, 1963), p. 79.

[14] As Lenin put it:
Only an objective consideration of the sum total of reciprocal relations of all the classes of a given society without exception, and, consequently, a consideration of the objective stage of development of that society and of the reciprocal relations between it and other societies, can serve as a basis for correct tactics of the advanced class. At the same time, all classes and all countries are regarded not statically, but dynamically, i.e., not in a state of immobility, but in motion (the laws of which are determined by the economic conditions of existence of each class). [Quoted in Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism: A Manual (Moscow: FLPH, 1961), p. 424.] Note also here that the dynamic nature of the class analysis is one factor that necessitates a dynamic overall strategy.

[15] Revolutionary Communist Party, "Mensheviks Sow Confusion on Fusion", Revolution, Vol. 3., #11, August 1978, p. 5.

[16] New Programme and New Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (Chicago: RCP Publications, 1981), p. 22. The more recent Draft Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, published in May 2001, also continues this line. On page 60 it says explicitly that "The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat is the strategy for overthrowing the U.S. monopoly capitalist class."

[17] Bob Avakian, "Why Do We Need to Unite All Who Can Be United?", RW, Nov. 10, 1996, p. 5.

[18] "J.P.", "Some Notes on the Study of What Is To Be Done? and Its Implications for the Struggle Today", The Communist, #5, May 1979, pp. 112-3.

[19] Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism (Peking: FLP, 1970), p. 86.

[20] Mao, "Talk at an Enlarged Working Conference Convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China" (Jan. 20, 1962), Peking Review, #27, July 7, 1978, p. 14.

[21] See for example "On Education: Conversation With the Nepalese Delegation of Educationalists", Mao Papers, pp. 22-3.

[22] Mao, "On Practice" (July 1937), SW 1:305-6.

[23] Lenin, "Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.)" (March 1918), LCW 27:89-90.

[24] Mao, "On Education: Conversation With the Nepalese Delegation of Educationalists", Mao Papers, p. 22.

[25] Mao, "Talk at the Hantan Forum on Four Clean-Ups Work" (March 28, 1964), MMTT, p. 338.

[26] Mao, "Remarks at a Briefing" (March 1964), MMTT, p. 340.

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