> What is the OCML Voie Prolétarienne ?

What is the OCML Voie Prolétarienne ?

We are Maoists. What is our history ?


The Marxist-Leninist Communist Organisation – Proletarian Way (OCML-VP) was founded in 1976 at the ‘beginning of the end’ of the Maoist movement in France. The impact of the workers’ mobilisations and the profound ideological transformations heralded by May 1968, together with the international influence of the Chinese Cultural Revolution gave rise to a strong Maoist movement opposed to the line of the French Communist Party (PCF).

Our organisation was born out of the critical analysis of the historical failures of Socialism and the workers’ struggles of May 68 in France. The organisation was founded based on a criticism of the dogmatism of the Maoists as well as an overly short-sighted ‘movementist’ line, carried along by events as they unfolded. Some of the founders of Voie Prolétarienne (VP, ‘Proletarian Way’) came from a Marxist-Leninist current around Awakening (Éveil) and Proletarian Red Line (Prolétaire Ligne Rouge), while others came directly from the Maoist movement, e.g. the Workers and Peasants Left (GOP), the Proletarian Left (GP), the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of France (PCMLF), etc. The origins of Proletarian Way (VP) therefore effectively involved merging two different currents with one section of the militants providing theoretical input, while the others brought with them their experience in the class struggle, in order to achieve of a synthesis between theory and practice, reflection and action to create a true Communism.

The organisation was built up upon the basis of a radical criticism of labour and exploitation, rooted in the political struggle against chauvinistic positions, corporatism and the ‘produce French’ slogan, combatting imperialism and upholding equal rights between French and migrant workers, against racism and homophobia and working in defence of those most oppressed.


What does the name OCML Voie Prolétarienne mean ?


Our name may well appear long (which it is) and rather abstract. OCML stands for Organisation Communiste Marxiste-Léniniste (Marxist-Leninist Communist Organisation), which is at least clear : a political organisation (not yet a Party, or an association, etc.) which remains faithful to Communism and its past experiences.

But what exactly does Voie Prolétarienne (Proletarian Way) mean ? It underlines the fact that there are some people within the working class movement who are tempted to seek to reconcile our interests with those of our exploiters. On the contrary, our aim is to organise those who seek to uncompromisingly uphold the interests of the proletariat.


Building proletarian unity !


In the factories, working class cities and neighbourhoods, working class and grassroots struggles, we resolutely defend the rights of the workers, voicing the demands and leading the battles which build working class unity, unafraid of making a stand against any prejudices which may exist within the class itself, such as bigotry, sexism, homophobia, etc.

That means rejecting politics which, albeit surreptitiously, promote conciliation with the interests of French imperialism under the guise of so-called ‘economic realism’.


The working class at the heart of the revolution !


The key role of the working class in the revolutionary process is one of the founding principles of VP because only the working class is able to lead a truly Communist project in order to completely overthrow Capitalism and exploitation. Why ? Because we are obsessed with the spanner and overalls as a sort of fetish ? No ! The working class is the only completely revolutionary class because it is bears the brunt of all of the alienations and all of the oppressions suffered by exploited men and women.

Owing to its role in production, the proletariat objectively has no reason to court the system. While that does not mean that only blue collar workers have a vested interest in the revolution, the proletariat must lead the way in order not to stop short, shoulder to shoulder with all of those who suffer and who fight within this society and also have everything to gain by changing it.


Build our Headquarters !


The aim of the OCML Voie Prolétarienne is the participate in the construction of a Communist Party, in other words the HQ of the exploited. The workers must organise because, as Marx said : “numbers weigh in the balance only if united by combination and led by knowledge”. That knowledge is made up of the accumulated experience of the workers and the Communist movement, the lessons to be drawn from past successes and failures and an understanding of the world in which we live.

When it was first created, the French Communist Party (PCF) embodied the hopes of the workers for a different society. But in 1936 the PCF backed the reformist government, going on to abandon the revolutionary struggle during the Liberation, calling upon the workers to rebuild French Capitalism instead. Since then, the PCF has been nothing but a revisionist party which, despite being more or less combative, nevertheless remains chauvinistic and reformist.

Without a Communist Party, the workers are merely pawns in struggles which play into the hands of the bourgeois reformists. The Arab uprisings in the Spring of 2011 showed how the masses could make imperialism and reactionary tremble. But the Arab Spring gave way to a reactionary Winter, because without a Communist Party, without a General HQ, they were unable to completely overthrow the old society in order to achieve their social emancipation, and very quickly the different bourgeois forces took over again. France lacks a Communist Party capable of ensuring the independence of the exploited in their struggles, a Party capable of vying for power with the bourgeoisie and seizing power tomorrow.


Internationalism is our strength !


A general consensus exists in France ranging from the Left Front (Front de Gauche), the Socialist Party and Europe Ecology (Europe Écologie), right up to the National Front (FN) regarding ‘producing in France’ and defending the role played by ‘France’.

Even though we are militants based in France, all of our work has an internationalist dimension. The principle of workers solidarity doesn’t stop at the borders of a country or a continent. In economic terms, most of ‘our’ impresarios’ profits are generated abroad. In political terms, our governments rely on their military might and their shows of strength around the world to assert themselves.

Internationalism also means providing political support to revolutionary organisations fighting in their own countries for national and social liberation.

Ignoring this solidarity between workers and oppressed peoples can only lead to defeat in the fight against imperialism.

We are internationalists when we make the fight of undocumented workers a key issue for the working class in France, when we support the revolution in India, and when we meet and invite comrades from the Philippines, Haiti, Greece, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, etc.!

Internationalism also means trying to rebuild the Internationale, which is why we take part in the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO) which brings together organisations from all around the world, providing a space for debate and exchange in order to contrast opinions and work towards an ever greater political unity.


Marxists, Leninists and Maoists !


Voie Prolétarienne is a Marxist, Leninist and Maoist organisation. But this is not a dogmatic smoke-screen designed to hide an inability to think for ourselves. One of the basic founding principles of VP was learning from the errors or the past and the present. And study, political debate, criticism and self-criticism continue to play an important role in our organisation today.

There are those who say that in the workers very soon lost power in the USSR and China, proving that there is no point in continuing to uphold Communism. But we refuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater and turn our backs on the past. We defend the legacy of Communism, with its successes and its failures. Revolutionary and socialist theory has only existed for a century. We have to make it live, not give it up for dead.


Some Maoist political instruments


Maoism involves “putting politics in command”. It also involves a different approach to politics, by practicing the mass line, i.e. relying on the correct ideas within the proletariat in order to take it to a higher level of consciousness by combatting mistaken ideas (such as bigotry, sexism, reformist delusions, etc.). In a word, learning from the exploited, from the struggles and being humble.

No organisation and no leader knows everything and never makes a mistake ! That is why it is important to analyse the politics that we lead, open to self-criticism in order to correct our errors and move forwards.

Training and debate are essential in order to take the initiative in the class struggle, dedicating ourselves to reducing inequalities between the leaders and those who follow their lead, starting with the Party that we aim to build.

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