Editorial Notes

The Opposition on the Offensive

(November 1931)

Written: November 1931.
Source: The Militant, Vol. IV No. 30 (Whole No. 89), 7 November 1931, p. 4.
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The correspondence from the field in the recent issues of the Militant tell a convincing story of the increasing activity and aggressiveness of the members of the Communist League. The reports, show beyond all doubt that the systematic educational work, upon which our faction is grounded, is being supplemented more and more by direct participation in the life of the Left wing labor movement. The Oppositionists are penetrating into the unions and non-party organizations. They appear at conferences, forums and other places where the radical workers come together and defend there the ideas of Marxism on concrete issues of the class struggle. And with a growing response. The Opposition comes out the gainer from every encounter.

Wherever we have forces they are on the offensive, and their confidence grows every time they pit the platform of the Marxist wing against Centrist empiricism, whether it be in a general discussion of principles or in the consideration of tactics in a single action. In this conflict of ideas which is at the bottom of the factional division in the Communist movement, even the youngest and most inexperienced representatives of the Opposition have an incalculable advantage. The appalling ideological poverty of the Centrist leaders is demonstrated on every occasion.

The whole district apparatus of the I.L.D. in New York had to be brought down upon a single branch to expel two young Oppositionists whose questions and arguments regarding the policy in the Mooney campaign they could not answer. The open forum conducted by the official Party in New York has been enlivened lately by the participation of “Trotskyites” who have gained ground in every discussion. It is true that the bureaucrats revenged themselves by setting hooligans upon the young Marxists to beat them up as they left the meeting last Sunday. But that is a poor recompense. The Communist workers will know how to pass judgement on this form of “debate”. The political line is stronger than the hooligan’s fist and will prevail over it.

What is needed to hasten this victory is an intensification of the political activity of the Opposition, as was indicated by the National Conference, the first fruitful results of which have already been recorded. These activities and results demonstrate that the adherents of the Left Opposition are learning how to conduct the political struggle. This is not a secret art. It consists primarily in the assimilation of scientific Marxist ideas and the intransigent defense of them. The Opposition is armed with an invincible platform which has been verified in every concrete question by the test of experience. It is this fact which gives the Opposition fighters such unbounded confidence and assures them an increasing influence in the ranks of the proletarian vanguard in proportion to their activity and aggressiveness in expounding the platform.

Last updated on: 11.2.2013