“This evil can be overcome only by strenuous and persistent effort over a long period of years….
It will undoubtedly produce good results, even if not as quickly as is expected by those who tend
to reduce the ‘combating of red tape’ to a mere phrase… instead of working hard to take definite
steps” (Lenin, V. I., “Instructions of the Council of Labor and Defense to the Local Soviet
Bodies,” in Collected Works, Vol. 35, p. 389-390).
Bureaucracy is a bourgeois creation, it is the synthesis of the conceptions that the exploiting
classes have of the question of the direction, the leadership, on the role of the leaders and the
underestimation of the masses in history. Liberalism is its twin brother; where an abysmal style
of bureaucratic leadership is manifested and tolerated, conditions are in place for liberalism to
These deviations are the result of the enormous bourgeois ideological pressure suffered by the
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the struggle for its construction, the seizure of power and
socialism. Bureaucracy as an ideological deviation and political practice is a particularly
damaging and dangerous enemy.
Bureaucracy obstructs the emergence of revolutionary initiatives, it promotes the lack of political
involvement of the party and fosters the cult of formalism (which is not party formality and
discipline), thus preventing the action of the party from taking place at the right place and time.
Thus it is clear that the manifestations of bureaucratism, contrary to what one might commonly
believe, have a specific expression that goes beyond the ostentation of hierarchies outside of
revolutionary simplicity. Bureaucratic methods transcend that formality and in the sense that we
are especially interested in discussing it is that referring to political practice.
The correct application of the rights and duties of the communist militant closes the way to the
bureaucratic spirit. As all problems with ideological roots, the correction of bureaucratic
deviations in methods of work involves a question that is not only theoretical, but also essentially
practical: work, supervision, personal fulfillment of tasks, and the validity of the norms that give
substance and form to the party.
In the Communist Party of Labor we have accumulated some experience fighting against
bureaucratism. That is why we are aware of the need to gain theoretical clarity about the causes
and implications of this deviation while taking political and organizational measures in order to
This problem was already dealt with in the Second National Conference of Cadres of our party
and a resolution was adopted in this regard in January 1984; also in the party school we run a
special course on Liberalism and Bureaucracy.
Naturally, the magnitude and expression of the problems derived from bureaucratic methods
differ with respect to that situation and the current one, since they correspond to different periods
of the development of the party; but deep down their character and essence are the same as
bourgeois ideological deviation.
All the ideological deviations contrary to the Marxist-Leninist nature and the aims of the party
become serious obstacles to its advance both in party construction and in the development of the
However, experience allows us to affirm that, once a policy for party intervention in a
revolutionary spirit regarding a situation has been defined, of all the deviations that threaten such
a party, the bureaucratic methods of work are the ones that most frequently and clearly are
expressed in politics. While there are manifestations foreign to Marxism-Leninism and the
revolutionary spirit that prevail at the subjective level (attitudes and conceptions), this does not
with bureaucratism, whose imprint we can immediately see in the sphere of politics, which
obviously is expressed at an objective level.
This is particularly appropriate to highlight, judging by the period our party is experiencing and
the demands of the ongoing process.
Conservatism, the lack of initiative and the routine that preys upon many of our cadres and
organizations eliminates the potential and scope of a policy as bold and clear as the one we have
been working on in the face of the national situation. The bureaucratic methods of leadership and
work form the best nurturer for these deficiencies to nest and gain strength.
Here it may be useful to mention some examples that illustrate the weaknesses of our daily lives
as demonstrations of what should not be:
A committee of cadres or a regional committee that is only concerned for itself, meetings come
and go without their intervening with their own and concrete initiatives even in the specific
territory where they exercise their jurisdiction; when in a zone or region the ones responsible
cannot find a way for the political campaign that we have initiated can start or be reproduced
there; when a circular letter sleeps “the sleep of the just” in the hands of a member of the Central
Committee, because the latter is patiently waiting for the next meeting of the liaison body, or
also patiently waiting for one of its leaders to take it up; when the telephone replaces any other
manner to guarantee follow-up and supervision; when a comrade or body is continually
delegating tasks and responsibilities to others; when a leader does not intervene directly in a
concrete manner in all manifestations of the political activity of the front, region or organization
under his responsibility; when we do not explore the possibility of a radio program in a town;
when we are not worried because the circle of our political relations (who are part of the
periphery of the party) is the same as three, five or ten years ago; when our dear Lucha
(newspaper of the PCT – translator’s note) remains for days in the hands of a cadre because his
other comrades or the member he is guiding “have not come looking for him” each one of these
cases clearly illustrates the presence of methods of work marked by the bureaucratic spirit, which
are incompatible with politically energizing an organization, and we have a lot of that in the
party, although fortunately this is not what sets the general rhythm of the organization.
Supervision cannot degenerate into a routine act and formalism; it is a matter of high
revolutionary principle to guarantee the functioning of the organization and the full compliance
with its guidelines, as well as for the correct assimilation of experiences. From this it follows that
supervision cannot be carried out in a general way, only at the level of the organizational body, it
is necessary to assess the individual compliance of each cadre and each member. Thus
conceived, supervision constitutes a tool that prevents the exercise of bureaucratic methods of
work and leadership.
We are a successful organization, we have maintained ourselves on firm, clear positions and in
tune with the national political process; and in the period since the Fourth Congress we have
promoted political activities that have kept the party active; but it is obvious judging by the
aforementioned weaknesses, that bureaucratic methods are preventing us from having better
results in solving “the contradiction between the enormous possibilities that exist in the country
to work on a popular democratic and national liberation project, and the narrowness and lack of
energy with which our cadre behave in the fulfillment of their responsibilities,” (Political Report,
Fourth Congress, p.13).
The question of bureaucratic methods of leadership and work, once we have discussed and
reflected on it, their solution involves an essentially practical matter, because it involves politics,
the way in which we individually address it specifically.
In this regard, the solution of another contradiction emphasized by that Congress regarding the
problem of “…very few hands available for the accumulation and diversity of daily tasks…” is
essential; but it is also valid that the vanguard members, the cadres who have been mobilized to
the forefront of the tasks, give of themselves more and more, ignoring the influence of the
laggards. Thus we are advancing firmly in the building of cells and committees as fighting units
of the party. We cannot march at the pace of the slowest; these must speed up their pace to
advance at the pace of the vanguard.
This is correct because with that attitude we will advance in the practical sense in order to
display political initiatives, to carry out tasks and advance in changing the bureaucratic methods
to the degree that the hostile environment reinforces such manifestations.
Faced with the demands that the party has raised and the national context characterized by open
political activism, the fight against bureaucratic methods implies more decisiveness in promoting
the political proposal, more propaganda, more politicization of our mass work, more
perseverance in the day-to-day political tasks of the party; in short, greater willingness in
practice to do concrete things in their area of leadership or membership on the part of each cadre
and each member.
We can achieve it. We are a successful organization and we will continue to do things, because
by force of events we will grow and win political power.
Categories: Dominican Republic