or I myself, who completely recognised the laws of the Chinese Revolution in the beginning, he would be boasting, don't you believe him for it didn't happen.'(60)
It matters little that there are only a few Maoists at the beginning. They grow stronger if they actually work to fuse with the working class, if they participate in its struggles and do not restrict their activity to setting up and distributing a journal. On the other hand, it is very important that, in the present conditions, they do not claim to be the 'true' Communist Party and do not launch grandiloquent appeals destined to disappear into thin air when everyone knows that they do not represent anything very much, otherwise the workers will not take them seriously. Having been 'had' twice by traditional workers' organisations, the workers demand that the Maoists prove themselves before giving them their confidence. In other words, for the Maoist organisation to be able to present itself as the leading core of the people, it is necessary for it really to be such, for the conscious workers (especially they) will not allow themselves to be taken in. This presupposes that certain conditions are met.
1. proletarianisation of the organisation and its leadership;
2. roots in the working class attested by effective ability to lead
3. roots in all the other classes and strata of the people with the
ability to mobilise them and to unify their struggles into a
revolutionary perspective as a criterion;
4. unification of all proletarian revolutionaries and all true
Maoists, that is, of all those who can be united.
Such an organisation will be able to lead the united front of all revolutionary classes and strata. It will have determined on the basis of practice the character of the present stage, the principal contradiction, the general political line and the system of particular lines. It will have helped the masses to elaborate particular programmes on the different aspects of their condition (work, security, housing, transport, etc.) and will synthesise them in a programme for a people's regime. It will be capable of combining legal and illegal, and open and clandestine work. It will have at its disposal an armed organisation, however embryonic.
The people will then flex 'the three magic arms' guaranteeing it victory: the party, the united front, the army. This stage was only reached in China in 1937.
It is clear that the building of the party is a continuous creation, as is the elaboration of the programme, as can be seen from the constant changes which Lenin made to it.(61) Its official date of birth is a question of 'revolutionary opportunity' which must be appraised on the basis of the concrete situation. In stating the conditions pointed out above we were thinking above all of France and Italy. The premature birth of the party, in other words, its emergence as a self-proclaimed vanguard immediately claiming recognition of its status by fraternal parties and counting more on their aid than on its own forces, threatens to backfire by depreciating in the eyes of the masses the idea of a Maoist-Marxist-Leninist Party and by making more difficult the broad alliance of all those who appeal to the authority of the thought of Mao Tse-tung.
On the other hand, the protracted building of a party presenting the characteristics we have pointed out sanctions more flexibility in the choice (or abandonment) of different forms of organisation,
more effectively liberates initiative from below, and ensures the selection of cadres only on the basis of their success in practice. By combining legal and illegal methods, by setting when necessary the violence of the people against the violence of authority, one educates the militants, attracts the most combative workers and rejects petty bourgeois individualists and careerists. The elimination of poisoned blood and the infusion of fresh blood develop the organisation on a healthy proletarian basis, offering every guarantee against the dangers of sclerosis, opportunist degeneration and bureaucratism.