The Proletarian Party of East Bengal produced and published the original Bengali document on 1972
The Communist Party Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Bangladesh translated the document in English and published online via www.sarbaharapath.com on 15 July 2014. The party slightly edited the translation on 15 January 2017
The First Congress of the Proletarian Party of East Bengal had taken dogmatism as the main danger.
The Fifth Plenum of the First Central Committee of the Proletarian Party of East Bengal has taken the decision to add anti-dogmatist struggle with anti-clique struggle and rectification movement.
The decision of the Proletarian party of East Bengal is an important step to clear petit bourgeoisie ideology and ideologically transform them (the petit bourgeoisie – Translator) into proletariat.
The anti-dogmatist struggle is very much necessary to combine Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought with the concrete practice of revolution of East Bengal, give solution to the problems that raised in the course revolution of East Bengal, carry the proletariat and people onto the correct path and bring victory for revolution. This is why the decision of adding anti-dogmatist struggle with the anti-clique struggle and the rectification movement is very much important and far-reaching significant for the Proletarian Party of East Bengal and revolution. This is a historic decision.
The course of Marxist epistemology and dogmatism
Process of Knowledge
|To confine knowledge in perceptual stage means narrow empiricism||Matter||Perceptual knowledge regarding Matter||Practice: Particular: People:||→||Conscience||Materialism of Knowledge||↑||↑||↑|
|To raise perceptual knowledge to the stage of rational knowledge through making summation of Experience||First stage of Knowledge Less Important|
|↓ ↓ ↓||Dialectics of Knowledge|
|To Start from Theory and remain confined in theory and Not applying perceptual knowledge into practice is dogmatism||Conscience||Perceptual Knowledge||Theory, Plan|
|The second and Most important stage of Knowledge|
|Matter. If achieved conscience transform the matter, then knowledge regarding that matter becomes complete||Matter||Practice: Particular: People:|
|↓||If conscience does not conform to law of matter, again conceptual knowledge is made by summing it up again|
|↓Matter||Conscience is applied to practice to change matter according to it|
|Thus matter is transformed in cycle of matter-conscience-matter and correct knowledge is achieved regarding matter|
“The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice.”
From this, we find that the basis of all the theories is practice, that is, contact with matter. When one gets contact with matter, it is reflected in his/her brain through five sense organs (eye, ear, nose, skin and tongue). First it is perceptual knowledge.
The source of perceptual knowledge is matter. That means, the source of knowledge is matter. It is the materialism of knowledge.
By summing up this perceptual knowledge with the help of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, we have to determine the laws of matter and raise perceptual knowledge to the stage of rational knowledge.
This is the dialectics of knowledge. From the perceptual stage of knowledge to the rational stage of knowledge is the first stage of knowledge.
According to Marxism, this stage (from perceptual stage to rational stage of knowledge) is less important stage in the course of knowledge.
“If the dialectical-materialist movement of knowledge were to stop at rational knowledge, only half the problem would be dealt with. And as far as Marxist philosophy is concerned, only the less important half is that.”
According to Marxist philosophy, understanding and analyzing the law of the outside objective world (society and nature) is not the most important thing, but to apply the knowledge of these laws to change the world.
Marx himself said, “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”
The active role of knowledge not only manifests itself from perceptual to rational stage, but more importantly it will redirect itself from rational stage to revolutionary practice.
The knowledge which grasps the laws of the world, must be redirected to the practice of changing the world, must be applied anew in the practice of production, in the practice of revolutionary class struggle and revolutionary national struggle and in the practice of scientific experiment.
According to the theory and plan, matter is transformed in the course of practice, is correct. Knowledge regarding that matter then completes.
Thus correctness of rational knowledge, theory and plan is testified.
The errors discovered while changing matter should be cleared by summing up again, theory and plan should be made and redirected again to changing matter.
Thus, it goes in an endless cycle.
In this way, through the course of practice to knowledge and knowledge to practice, correct political, military, organizational and ideological line of the national democratic revolution of East Bengal will develop.
All these have a single aim, that is, to transform the East Bengal society, and realize socialism and communism by completing national democratic revolution.
Revolution is not made to create theory, rather laws are discovered and theories are made to make revolution and transform the world.
The dogmatists deny this process of development of knowledge. They, by starting from theory, confine themselves in theory.
Thus, they deny that the source of theory is matter, which is materialism of knowledge, that practice should be raised to the level of theory and that should be applied to practice, which is dialectics of knowledge.
Dogmatists do not reflect matter in brain. This is why they do not understand the particularity of matter that means they don’t study its similarities with other objects, especially its differences with other objects – which is the basis of knowledge regarding matter.
That means, they deduct concrete analysis of concrete condition, which is the living soul of Marxism.
Thus, they violate Lenin’s law of concrete analysis of concrete condition. They never use their brain. In place of that, they use superficial stereotype things.
As they don’t understand particularity of matter, the dogmatists do not understand that every revolution has different situation. That is why different methods are applied to resolve different contradiction. Moreover, they imagine a formula and indiscriminately apply that. It results set back in revolution, and what could be done in a better way, that becomes nonsense.
The dogmatists deny the process of dialectic materialist process of knowledge and become metaphysical idealist. Consequently, they make deviation in party’s political, military, and organizational line, and inflict serious damage to party and revolution.
Chairman Mao said, “Idealism and mechanical materialism, opportunism and adventurism, are all characterized by the breach between the subjective and the objective, by the separation of knowledge from practice.”
As the dogmatists do not reflect object in their brain, their thinking (subjective) do not correspond to the object (objective). So, the solution they give to transform matter does not correspond to the laws of matter. As a result, they manifest themselves as left adventurist (that surpass the motion of matter) or right opportunist (that lag behind the motion of matter).
This is why the dogmatists may show adventurism-pessimism and right opportunism, even, they may transform themselves into enemy agent.
In Chinese revolution, the dogmatists had seized party leadership three times and made left deviation. Some of them became pessimist while some became right opportunist. At last, they became enemy agent.
Huq-Toha-Motin-Aluddin of East Bengal do not reflect social condition of East Bengal in their brain, do not discover its laws, followed the strategy and tactics that was produced for Indian society, made left deviation and at last served the Pak military fascists.
Some of them, at present are serving the Bangladesh puppet government.
The dogmatist comrades inside the Proletarian Party of East Bengal do not apply conceptual knowledge and theory of party to practice, accept foreign experience without thinking about its eligibility to our condition and want to impose that blindly over our problem.
Dogmatism and Marxist Theory
Marxism-Leninism is the general conclusion made by Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin from historic and revolutionary reality on the basis of practice.
All of them repeatedly forbade to take it as lifeless dogma.
Chairman Mao said, “Our comrades should not regard Marxist theory as lifeless dogma. It is necessary to master Marxist theory and apply it, master it for the sole purpose of applying it.”
How much emphasis he put on practice we can understand from the below statement:
“If you can apply the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint in elucidating one or two practical problems, you should be commended and credited with some achievement. The more problems you elucidate and the more comprehensively and profoundly you do so, the greater will be your achievement.”
Therefore, theoretical phrase mongering isolated from practice will give rise to dogmatist deviation. By leaving it, theory should be creatively applied in resolving problems. Theoretical discussion and study should be centered on problems.
Chairman Mao said about theory isolated from practice: “Aimless theory is useless and false and should be discarded. We should point the finger of scorn at those who are fond of aimless theorizing.”
He further added, “Even now, there are not a few people who still regard odd quotations from Marxist-Leninist works as a ready-made panacea which, once acquired, can easily cure all maladies. These people show childish ignorance, and we should enlighten them. It is precisely such ignorant people who take Marxism-Leninism as a religious dogma. To them we should say bluntly, ‘Your dogma is worthless’.”
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin repeatedly said, “Marxist theory is not a dogma, but a guide to action.”
How is Marxist-Leninist theory to be linked with the practice of the revolution of East Bengal? To use a common expression, it is by “shooting the arrow at the target”. As the arrow is to the target, so is Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung Thought to the East Bengal revolution. Some comrades, however, are “shooting without a target”, shooting at random, and such people are liable to harm the revolution. Others merely stroke the arrow fondly, exclaiming, “What a fine arrow! What a fine arrow!”, but never want to shoot it.
Those who aimlessly speak about Marxism-Leninism without applying it to solve problems are dogmatists. Their objective is to show their genius. They praise theory without applying it a single bit, pose as big scholar by leap servicing to theory in tea table and drawing room while do not help even a little bit, let alone work. There are many this type of petit bourgeoisie intellectuals in East Bengal.
Both of them have nothing to do with revolution.
There are many such comrades in our party who are happy to say that our party’s political-military and other lines are correct, repeatedly they say that and debate on that, but don’t apply those, extend work or carry party and revolution forward.
However correct the party line is, if that is not applied, no problems of party and revolution will be resolved.
So, these comrades must change their mentality to perseveringly keep continuing in applying party line.
What is the meaning of combining Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought with revolution of East Bengal?
It is to give correct analysis of the concrete problems that was raised in the course of history and revolution-process by the position, outlook and method of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, and give scientific and theoretical analysis of political, economic, military, cultural and other problems of East Bengal, and transform East Bengal accordingly.
To be such theoretician, one must master the essence of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought and Marxist position, outlook and method and the theory of Lenin-Stalin-Mao Tse-tung regarding colonial semi colonial countries; he must be able to sharply and scientifically solve the concrete problems of East Bengal, discover its laws and apply it.
It is possible only when someone is connected with the practice of changing of the society of East Bengal.
It is because there is only one genuine theory exists in the world that arose from objective reality and tested by that. Except that, no other thing qualifies for the name of theory. That means, social reality of East Bengal must be reflected in those theories, which must be tested through being applied in changing of society of East Bengal.
That is why the theoretical solution of social revolution of East Bengal is possible through studying and reviewing the concrete condition of the society of East Bengal with the help of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, determining its laws and testifying that by changing the East Bengal society accordingly.
Those theories and plans are correct which are proved in test of practice, that is, compatible with the laws of society of East Bengal.
Only those theories can be identified as complete.
The dogmatists deny the importance of application of Marxism, memorize some Marxist theory, think themselves as big scholar and become cocky.
Dogmatism and the experience of foreign party
Dogmatists, by not reviewing problems of our country and determining strategy and tactics based on that, adopt other countries’ strategies and tactics’ and blindly impose those on our country and want to solve problems of our country accordingly.
Thus, they do not reflect matter along with its particularities in their brain, deduct living soul of Marxism the ‘concrete analysis of concrete condition’ and look at our country-matter according to foreign party strategies’ and tactics’ that are made for the foreign countries according to their theories and thinking.
Thus, they take such thinking as primary which is not related to our country, while taking our country-matter as secondary.
That is why the dogmatists are idealist.
Once Huq-Toha, Motin-Alauddin, Deben-Bashar and Co. had said imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism as one and inseparable and all the threes as main enemy.
[At present, Huq-Toha, Motin-Aluddin are saying India and Soviet together as main enemy]
Thus, they are denying principal enemy and principal contradiction.
Later, according to the position of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), they said feudalism principal enemy and adopted the strategy and tactics prepared for Indian social condition.
The meaning of copying and applying the strategy and tactics that is prepared for the social condition of India is denying the particularities of East Bengal.
That means cutting feet to adjust with shoes and inserting tetrangular wood into a round hole.
This is why the above mentioned neo-revisionists failed to give solution to the problems of social development of East Bengal, and the bourgeoisie became able to make counter-revolution here.
Being more and more dogmatist, the Huq-Toha and Motin-Alauddin & Co. reached to such a position that they adopted the teaching of Indian party leader with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought.
Other than giving analysis of the problems of East Bengal, they start from quotations of Indian party leader and Radio Peking by distorting those.
Thus, other than making conclusion from analysis of our problems and conditions and looking at this to see whether or not those are compatible to the conclusion of fraternal parties, they just start from that (the conclusion of fraternal parties) (that means they start from definition).
The general line of the World Communist Movement stated about them the following:
“Errors of dogmatism will be committed if one fails to do so, if one mechanically copies the policies and tactics of another Communist Party, submits blindly to the will of others or accepts without analysis the programme and resolutions of another Communist Party as one’s own line.”
Huq-Toha, Motin-Alauddin etc. all are mechanically copying the lines and tactics of the Indian Marxist-Leninist communist party and adopted those as their own without any analysis.
Thus, they inflicted serious losses to East Bengal revolution by committing dogmatist deviation.
The general line of the World Communist Movement further added about them, “…………….but instead is a party that parrots the words of others, copies foreign experience without analysis, runs hither and thither in response to the baton of certain persons abroad, and has become a hodgepodge of revisionism, dogmatism and everything but Marxist-Leninist principle;”
So, Huq-Toha, Motin-Alauddin, Moni Singh–Mozaffar (who every now and then run to Moscow and India to bring order), Kazi-Rono-Amol, Debeb–Bashar (who bring order from Jyoti Bose) became revisionist and dogmatist in this way.
By adopting the report of the 20th congress of the Soviet Communist Party (by Khrushchev, the report for the first time prepared revisionism) without any analysis, the Indonesian communist party made plan of peacefully seizure of power and acted accordingly.
Before they could correct their deviation, they had to face reactionary attack, several hundred thousand comrades lost their lives and the Indonesian revolution and party received huge losses.
Almost all the communist parties of East Europe blindly adopted the line of the Soviet modern revisionists. As a result, all those communist parties became revisionist and those countries became Soviet colony or dependent country.
The Communist party of Albania led by Enver Hoxha, with its analysis, rejected the modern revisionist line of Khrushchev and struggled against it. That is why Albania exists as a socialist country.
The Communist party of Burma, with analysis rejected Khrushchev’s line and even Liu Chao Chi’s advice. Consequently, the Communist party of Burma remained revolutionary and carries revolution.
Chairman Mao has welcomed Enver Hoxha of Albania and the leader of the Communist Party of Burma comrade Thakin-Than-Tun as great Marxist-Leninist for their great revolutionary role played.
The great Chinese Communist Party led by Chairman Mao analyzed and rejected Khrushchev’s modern revisionist line and led the world proletariat’s struggle against it.
Therefore, the great Chinese Communist Party remained revolutionary and exists as socialist.
So, being dogmatist, blindly following foreign party and blindly adopting foreign party’s program and resolution without analysis means to be opportunist and revisionist and doing severe damage to party and revolution.
We shall learn from all those domestic and international experiences, be able to use our own brain, analyze East Bengal society with the help of dialectical and historical materialism, earn correct knowledge about the trends of different classes through making profound investigation and review, discover the laws of development of East Bengal society, prepare strategy and tactics based on that and thus, we shall be able to combine the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought to the concrete practice of revolution of East Bengal.
Chairman Mao said, always it is necessary to start from reality, keep close contact with people, regularly sum up experience of mass struggle, and independently determine strategy and tactics compatible to own condition and apply that.
We shall always remain firm in that principle.
The East Bengal Workers Movement and the Proletarian Party have always independently analyzed the social condition of East Bengal, prepared strategy and tactics, by analyzing foreign experience, took whichever necessary, and rejected blind copying.
This why the East Bengal Workers Movement and the Proletarian party have been able to correctly point out the laws of social development of East Bengal and prepared correct strategy and tactics, and developed themselves constantly.
All the cadres of the Proletarian Party of East Bengal should maintain that heritage and reject dogmatism.
Dogmatism and narrow empiricism
Chairman Mao said, “Dogmatism and empiricism alike are subjectivism (by not properly reflecting object in brain, to make imaginary idea about it) each originating from an opposite pole.”
“Empiricism differs from dogmatism in that it starts not from books but from narrow experience.”
The sectarian empiricists have perceptual knowledge, that is, they are in contact with object and are in practice. They do not sum up perceptual knowledge, raise it to rational stage of knowledge, discover the laws of matter and transform matter accordingly.
Thus, they do not raise knowledge regularly to higher level. That is why the knowledge of the narrow empiricists is one-sided.
They, remain satisfied with their one-sided limited experience. They take that as dogma. They deny the truth that ‘there can be no revolution without revolutionary theory ’. So, they think study of Marxism-Leninism is useless. They remain full of bogus normality and regulations, which do not good to them. In such a situation, if they order from above, think themselves as hero and leader being semi blind, in that case, we have to understand that really they became narrow empiricist.
Though dogmatists and narrow empiricists start from opposite (one starts from theory while another from experience). They are basically same in thinking. Both make the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism and particular practices of own country two separate thing, violate dialectical and historical materialism, say partial and relative truth as universal truth. None of their thinking corresponds to matter.
As sectarian empiricists have limited and narrow experience, they do not have independent or clear idea about general type of problems. Therefore, they tail behind dogmatism.
“The history of the Chinese Party proves that it would not have been easy for the dogmatists to have ‘spread their poison throughout the Party’ without the collaboration of the empiricists.”
If deceived general comrades had not been narrow empiricists, Fazlu-Sultan could not make clique in the Proletarian Party of East Bengal.
If the general cadres of Huq-Toha, Motin-Alauddin, Deben-Bashar, even Moni Singh-Mozaffar had not been narrow empiricists, they could not be deceived.
These dogmatism are the main danger inside the proletarian party of East Bengal.
Therefore, on the eve of rejecting dogmatism, we must oppose narrow empiricism. After dogmatism is rejected, narrow empiricism becomes main obstacle in the path of development of Marxism.
Majority of the cadres of the Proletarian Party of East Bengal have petit bourgeoisie intellectual class origin, who brought the habit of passing exam by memorizing textbook. They never had necessity to apply that knowledge.
According to old habit, they memorize Marxist theory and like to monger phrases. They do the same method in case of party documents.
Similarly, they blindly read and accept foreign experiences.
Therefore, all the petit bourgeoisie class origin comrades should be encouraged to leave bad habit of memorizing phrase and mongering those here and there, and apply theory and read theory related to problems.
Reading theory irrelevant to practice is the manifestation of practice-disoriented fool-making bourgeoisie society education system. If it is applied in studying revolutionary theory, its inevitable end is dogmatism.
Chairman Mao said, “Being detached from the actual process of production, petty-bourgeois intellectuals have only book knowledge and lack perceptual knowledge, and so their method of thinking is apt to manifest itself in the dogmatism”
Thus, dogmatism is one of the ideological manifestations of petit bourgeoisie intellectuals. It is the main danger inside the Proletarian Party of East Bengal.
So, the intellectual class origin cadres of the party should always be cautious against dogmatism, struggle it and reject it. By leaving the bad habit of being self-satisfied with party directions, documents, experiences and line, we must regularly apply those.
We have to take those to practice who have theoretical knowledge.
We should evaluate cadres on the basis of Marxism and efficiency of application of organizational line.
We should resist dogmatist infiltration among all level of cadres.
We have to resist prominence of comrades who have theoretical knowledge isolated from practice over all the level of leadership and give prominence to those comrades who are able to combine theory and practice.
We should make those comrades theoretical study who have experience so that they may constantly sum up their perceptual knowledge, raise that to the level of rational stage of knowledge; and thus they may regularly raise their knowledge and work to higher levels.
The correctness of party’s political, organizational, and military and other lines have ideological basis. It depends on whether or not different lines have emerged from Marxist-Leninist dialectical and historical materialism and from the necessity of East Bengal revolution and masses.
Therefore, the aim of studying Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought is to study the problems of East Bengal, make correct line as its solution, and transform the society by applying that.
So, for the sake of revolution, people and party, we must combine theory with practice and vice versa, reject dogmatism, and at the same time, resist narrow empiricism. We must master the living Marxist style of combining theory and practice.■