Jim Dann and Hari Dillon

The Five Retreats: A History of the Failure of the Progressive Labor Party


CHAPTER 9: INGLORIOUS ISOLATION 1973-1977

The struggle against sectarianism in PLP started with the publication of the article, “Fight Sectarianism” (PL V. 8 No. 3) by the NC, alongside RTR III in a weak attempt to counter the sectarian implications of RTR III in the summer of 1971, and was pursued with vigor at the October, 1971 NC meeting, which pressed PL cadre to re-enter the trade-unions and even to run for shop steward, and again at the December 1971 NC meeting, which called for PL to take electoral action and which founded WAM. The year 1972 saw the highpoint of PLP’s attempt to re-develop a mass approach. That was the year of the attempt to revive SDS, the founding of CAR, the new line on Army work, the McGovern Campaign, the re-constitution of industrial clubs and shop clubs, WAM in its broadest and most vigorous phase, and the first “30 for 40” electoral campaign.

I

The first sign that the NSC was not about to carry a good thing too far came in 1973 during the pre-convention discussion. An NC report to open the discussion was drafted by Dann and approved by the NC at the Dec. 1972, meeting. The report, while praising RTR Ill’s line on China as prophetic, criticized the sectarianism of the 1969-1971 era and drew attention to the united front as the method of leading the mass movement.

“Nevertheless as the line of Road to Revolution III unfolded in our Party, many members and even the leadership in some areas ’developed’ this line further. Not only were Meany, Woodcock and Bridges sellouts and enemies, but also all the local union leaders and even shop stewards became one big mass of undifferentiated reaction. The line was even put forward by the Party in some areas that it was inevitable that one would sell out if he became a local union official. While it is true that many local officials and some shop stewards do have cozy relations with the boss, this line that refused to recognize even the possibility of militants and class conscious fighters at the local official level, or even the shop steward level was rejected by most workers as contrary to their experience. And in practice, no matter what was said, this made it impossible to form a united front that had a serious approach toward taking power in the union.

“To the extent that Road to Revolution III may not have spelt out clearly that the object of a united front is to take power in a give situation, it may have had a negative impact on our mass work. We gave a long list of types we would not ally with: ’bosses,’ ’revisionists,’ ’Trotsky-types’ and the ’herd of various fakes on the left,’ groups that would not ’separate themselves from the policies of their liberal-imperialist or revisionist ’leaders’,’ trade-union misleaders, Black misleaders, etc. Yet since there are practically no stable groups that don’t have one or more of these types in them, in practice this often reduced our united front work to building Challenge Clubs or building SDS on a very narrow basis. Only a very few people at this point are willing to separate themselves completely from revisionists, Trotskyites, union misleaders, and government money and work exclusively with PLP. If the majority of workers were willing, it would be a very advanced situation.

“The main mistake of the United Front since the time of Dimitroff, is viewing the question of united front work being with whom we unite instead of around what line we unite. In this respect Road to Revolution III was not helpful. We criticized the past practice and attributed it to top-down alliances – so we called for a “united front below.” This is a narrow approach and misses the point. Below, above, or some combination of the two – the question is what line are we uniting around?

“Thus, did SDS split around the line of Worker-Student Alliance or did we make the split around unnecessary side issues such as the Black Panthers and the NLF or the merits of Mao-Tse-Tung vs. Ho Chi Minh? Did we narrow the UF by interpreting the WSA in too narrow a form (strike support, Campus Worker-Student Alliance) instead of seeing that the essence of WSA must be students fighting ruling class ideology on the campus, in particular – racism.” (PLP Convention Bulletin, no. 1)

At the next NC meeting, March, 1973, J. Israel began a sharp attack on the report; he defended the sectarianism of the “Challenge Summer” period and castigated the report for limiting the struggle against revisionism. Israel said the main danger was a strong right-wing trend in the Party, a trend that would tend to compromise with revisionism and nationalism. Rosen spoke next and strongly seconded Israel’s remarks. Rosen said he never agreed with the report and wished he had said so at the time. He opposed the idea of uniting with leaders of the mass movement and called for focusing the pre-convention discussion on what he and Israel called the right-wing trend.[148] The rest of the NC jumped on the bandwagon and it was agreed Dann would publish a retraction in the next internal bulletin.(Not exactly a retraction, but a self-criticism was published by Dann in the PLP Convention Bulletin No. 4.)

The “Right-wing drift” became an intimidating watchword now which was conveniently used to foil rank and file criticisms of Challenge was a left-wing island in an ocean of the right-wing drift of the Party.[149] (See Appendix.)

In his own report Rosen summarized his and Israel’s differences with Dann’s report:

“At the last NC meeting the main point discussed was the ’right-wing-drift...’ This retreat brought into question our concepts of UF policy. In the original draft for opening the pre-Convention discussion our earlier UF line was altered to consider this more from a top down view than from a bottom up... Probably the most important weakness was the limited leadership of the NC, and in some cases the outright disregard for NC decisions... and various members of the NC – mentioned at the meeting ... sharply contributed to this trend.”[150]

From here on the struggle against sectarianism was forgotten in the struggle against the “right-wing drift” led by Rosen and Israel. As the pre-convention discussion developed, rank and file dissatisfaction with the leadership on a number of issues arose. The Party leadership was faulted for ignoring the women’s movement, for ignoring cultural work. From several quarters the Party’s refusal to see U.S. imperialism as the main enemy of the people of the world drew fire. The dissention was voiced by some of the second ranking leaders in New York and around Eric Johnson, Dillon, K. Kelly, and some other leaders as well as many members in San Francisco. The proposal of the NSC to have teachers work based solely on the need to shorten the teachers’ work week was almost unanimously opposed in San Francisco. This proposal was correctly seen as a retreat from the struggle against racism and from the struggle to fight the bourgeois content of education. That proposal would surely lead to the isolation of teachers from the community. The NSC proposal to stop using Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin or Mao in PL study groups was opposed by some of the New York and some of the San Francisco second-ranking leadership as well as by the Canadian Party of Labor.

In these circumstances only the Boston Party stood solidly for the NSC’s “Struggle Against the Right Wing Drift” and Rosen leaned more and more heavily on Israel. More and more Boston articles dominated the pre-Convention discussion bulletins until the last three bulletins were sent by Rosen to Boston to be edited there. At an NC meeting just prior to the Convention, where all NC members were bound to fight for the NSC line at the Convention, Rosen and Israel announced their joint plan to transfer all the controversial issues – sexism, cultural work, use of Marxist-Leninist literature (except that regarding teachers) to one workshop which was heavily larded with loyal Boston delegates.[151] The teachers’ issue was entrusted to the T-U workshop, but some leading San Francisco opponents of the NSC line were excluded from that workshop. By use of these maneuvers the Rosen-Israel leadership silenced the dissidents and the “Struggle Against the Right-Wing Drift” became the official catchword of the June 1973 Convention. In the practical work this meant the final scuttling of SDS, the abandonment of “30 for 40” electoral work, a severe narrowing down of the point of unity in CAR and WAM, and an almost fatal blow to the teacher’s work. At this point the struggle against sectarianism became a dead letter in PLP.

When Rosen and Israel came to the parting of the ways at the end of the same year, Israel decided that the problem in PLP was that the “Struggle Against the Right-Wing Trend” had not been carried through to the end. He identified the San Francisco Party, led by John Harris and Hari Dillon as the center of the “Right-Wing Trend.” He claimed to be carrying out Rosen’s line better than Rosen. There was a correct logic to Israel’s thinking that was not so obvious then.

Thus ended the two year trend in PL to reverse sectarianism and come out of isolation. Now PL went from bad to worse. Some milestones along the way were the retreats from (1) the auto work, (2) the teachers’ work, (3) the support for Puerto Rican independence, and (4) from the anti-racist struggle in Boston.

II

In the late summer of 1973 the auto plants in Detroit seethed with militancy. The record high sales of autos that year caused most of the plants to be running at forced overtime; management let safety go out the window in the rush to make production. In Chrysler’s antiquated plants in Downtown Detroit conditions were even worse. There was no ventilation in the unseasonably hot August weather. Moreover, Chrysler was the expected target for that year’s UAW strike. In a bold action two Black workers had started a wildcat sit-in on July 24 at the Chrysler Jefferson Assembly Plant in Detroit and won some improvements in safety. Earlier, on June 14, there had been a wildcat at Chrysler’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Detroit. And on August 6, there was a six-day wildcat at Chrysler’s Detroit Forge.

For over a year the PL national leadership had declared auto to be the main PL concentration. They were determined to make their mark upon the 1973 strike since PL’s auto concentration had failed miserably in the previous strike in 1970. Intense pressure was put on the dozen or so PL auto workers. Both Linder and national auto concentration leader, Walt Riley, were in almost daily phone contact with PL’s handful of auto workers. Under these circumstances the PL member at Chrysler’s Mack Avenue Plant in Detroit decided on a wildcat sit-down to protest deteriorating safety conditions and lack of ventilation. Wildcat was in the air at all Detroit Chrysler plants and with the aid of another militant the line at Mack Ave. was shut down and a sit-down organized on August 14. After 20 hours of occupation the police came and it was clear to the 30 workers left inside that the plant could not be held. They walked out. PLP cadre from all over Michigan joined some Mack Ave. workers in setting up a picket line, which initially succeeded in keeping the bulk of the workers out. But the UAW on Aug. 16 organized hundreds of full-time union officials and others beholden to the machine to go to Mack, and they easily smashed the PL/WAM picket lines. The workers at Mack Avenue by and large were not ready to defend PL or its picket and the wildcat ended with PL forces and all other militants fired.

The Mack Ave. Wildcat was in many aspects a correct action, It is always important to take bold actions against the bosses. But there were serious weaknesses in it as well. Lack of united front ties with UAW committeemen, over-militant posturing by outside PL forces, and lack of deep enough ties with the workers doomed the wildcat to certain failure once the UAW leaders determined to crush it. Instead of analyzing these weaknesses and thus arriving at a balanced assessment of the good and the bad about Mack Avenue, the PL national leadership seized upon it as a bold, revolutionary action and as a brilliant example of fighting the “right-wing drift.” The most blatant exaggerations were told about Mack Avenue. Riley sent all sorts of inflated reports to New York which were picked up and shamelessly embellished by Challenge and the NSC. The West Coast WAM Conference that Fall was told that there was a WAM chapter of 125 workers still at Mack Ave., when the truth was not a single WAM sympathizer survived. Mack Avenue became a PL legend but one that was destined to help return PL to the path of anarchistic exemplary action. In the wake of Mack Avenue struggling against sectarianism became more difficult. After some more exemplary actions and the layoff of the winter of 1973-4, PL lost almost all of its inside auto cadre, and the PL “main concentration” became a dead letter by Spring of 1974. Thus Mack Avenue was not the harbinger of further bold PL-led actions but rather PLP’s last hurrah in auto. The “struggle against the right-wing drift” led to promoting the anarchistic aspects of a struggle, and to sweeping under the rug the need for unity with union forces and deeper ties with the workers. All this came under PL’s mass slogans of the time “Be Bold,” “Remember Mack, Fight Back,” which only served to cover up PL’s retreat from the auto concentration. To gain significant penetration in the UAW would have required patient base-building and flexible united front tactics. PLP was unwilling to consider this, and the ultra-left rhetoric about the lessons of Mack Avenue was a smokescreen which hid the abandonment of auto work altogether. Exit PLP from Auto, stage ultra-left.

III

In the high tide of the anti-sectarian push in 1972 PL and other anti-racist forces organized two significant and broad-based caucuses within the San Francisco Teacher’s Union, the Teachers’ Action Caucus (TAC) and the Substitute Caucus which rapidly became a powerful and influential opposition, not only within the San Francisco local, but also within the state-wide Federation. The caucuses were organized primarily to fight racism and to improve education and only secondarily for economic demands. Nevertheless, at times one-third of the unionized teachers, who voted, voted for the TAC slate, and the majority of the substitutes and the para-professionals followed the caucuses in opposition to the local machine, headed by James Ballard. But by late 1973 the push was on to fight the Right-Wing Drift. During the April, 1974 teachers’ strike the San Francisco leadership was put under tremendous pressure by the NSC to “Be Bold” and to follow the example of Mack. The leader of the San Francisco Teacher’s work, Kitty Kelly, described the situation:

“At the time of the 1974 strike the big ideological push in PL’s trade union work was the idea that we had to ’lead’ everything rather than function as a ’loyal opposition.’ We led a number of mass independent actions and in fact, according to many sources, we called the strike. But suddenly leading became equated with seizing microphones and taking over meetings, whether or not there was any basis for doing this. The primary question of the NSC throughout this strike became ’Did you take over the meeting today?’ This outlook had two aspects: a) The NSC argued that communists are never elected to power – they must seize power. The missing element in this analysis was a realistic estimate of the situation. Were the masses of teachers willing to follow us in seizing Ballard’s power? Every indication said they were not, but in spite of this we attempted to lead a series of coups – ’taking over the union office,’ ’organizing a counter-strike committee’ instead of focusing on building the strike at our schools; developing the fragile unity between minority and white teachers who were on strike together for once; and organizing massive parent support which was what the strike most needed. Misestimating the timing of the seizure of power is as serious a fault as never attempting to seize power at all. b) Every tactical question was elevated to a principle. Inner-party struggle focused on how to screw up one’s courage enough to ignore our horrified fellow workers and seize the microphone on every occasion. And all struggle between the Party and the masses came to revolve about whether to take over this or that.

“The NSC made no attempt at a serious analysis of the Schools nor any evaluation based on practice. As a result the line shifted on almost every important question on the average of once every six months: PL started organizing caucuses and then the leadership began arguing that WAM was more important. Then they began organizing mainly around anti-racist issues and an attack was launched on them for not accepting ’30 for 40’ as the main issue for teachers. PL teachers organized around educational issues for a time and then the pamphlet ’Racism, Intelligence and the Working Class’ was issued which argued that being able to read isn’t very important anyway since reading is ’anti-social.’ There was a struggle to re-enter the unions and then a sharp swing away from the teacher’s union because ’parents weren’t in it.’ PL teachers around the country began participating in the National AFT conventions, and then orders came down to organize ’counter-conventions’ in the sessions of the convention. And all of this proceeded with no regard for practice.”

Just another flip of the baton in New York. Within short order the San Francisco caucuses shrunk in size and influence, until in 1975 orders were received from New York to abolish the caucuses in favor of a Party fraction. The local Party leadership didn’t have the heart to transmit these orders but in essence the caucuses died anyway, although TAC kept a shadowy name-only existence until the split in 1977. Even though the local leadership was sympathetic to a broad united front approach, and tried to ignore the Party’s anarchist strategy, the sectarian NSC line won out, because it was not explicitly fought.

IV

PLP had been committed to fight for the independence of Puerto Rico by its founding convention. But even then PL’s relations with the mainstream of the independence movement were cooling off and eventually became frigid. The extreme Left of the independistas were friendly to PL. These forces in Puerto Rico congealed under the name Liga Socialista Puertoriquena (LSP) led by Juan Antonio Corretjer, a famous nationalist hero in Puerto Rico and one of Puerto Rico’s leading Marxists. Through the influence of Corretjer PLP gained serious footing among Puerto Ricans in New York, although in the late sixties all the Puerto Rican PLP Party leaders like Dejesus, quit one by one. But in Puerto Rico the Liga sold 2,000 Challenges each issue. The Liga itself pursued a fairly sectarian policy by refusing to unite with the main independentistas, the MPI (now the PSP, Puerto Rican Socialist Party) but was by no means willing to follow PLP into its total isolation of the 1971 period. The Liga continued serious trade-union work, maintained a leading position in the very big Puerto Rican anti-Vietnam-war movement and supported the idea of national liberation for Puerto Rico even when PLP had abandoned these policies.

Thus by the time of RTR III, PLP and the Liga were pursuing two different lines on a number of fronts. Since PLP was now almost totally isolated internationally, the Party was in no hurry to make yet another international enemy and PL and the Liga maintained friendly relations despite the divergent politics. During the anti-sectarian period the Liga must have become hopeful that some convergence between PL’s politics and the Liga’s would take place, since PLP was now re-entering the trade-union movement and making some moves around the anti-war movement. Thus Corretjer attended the 1973 Convention and gave a rousing speech of solidarity. However, at this convention the basic differences between the Liga on the one hand and PLP and the CPL on the other around the question of self-determination, independence and national liberation surfaced.

For years PL had made no mention at all of independence for Puerto Rico, to the point where the LSP wondered if PL still supported the concept for an independent Puerto Rico. Moreover, when the LSP initiated a campaign against the imperialist plot to turn parts of the island into a superport for the U.S. oil tankers, PLP scoffed at this anti-U.S. imperialist action instead of supporting it in the spirit of internationalism. The differences emerged sharply in one meeting during the winter of 1973-1974, and PLP and the LSP went their separate ways amid much recrimination.[152] Toward the end PLP made some moves to split the Liga, but with no success – Correjter’s prestige was far greater than that of PL in Puerto Rico.

The PLP position on Puerto Rico soon became equivalent to a colonialist position. Never mentioning independence or self-determination for Puerto Rico, totally hostile to all the left forces in Puerto Rico, PL was, by omission at least, in effect in favor or maintaining U.S. domination. In early 1977 a Challenge article, mentioning Puerto Rico for the first time in years, warned Puerto Ricans, suffering under the heel of U.S. colonialism, of the dangers of Soviet domination(!!!!)[153]

V

At the beginning of 1974, bleeding from the loss of Boston, yet determined more than ever to struggle against the “Right-Wing Trend” (of engaging in mass struggle), the Party conceived of a plan to engage all efforts of the Party for four months on building a May Day Demonstration, totally isolated from mass class struggle. The result was a national May Day in Washington D.C. and a huge flop. Billed as “historic” and a mighty blow to the ruling class, the two-week May Day East, Mid-West and Canada in Washington turned out to be a big embarrassment to the organizers. It tended to be ignored by the media as insignificant, which it was, and the workers at the various auto plants along the way regarded the motorcade with either only curiosity at the weirdness of it all, or in some cases with downright hostility. Nevertheless as the all-out superhuman efforts were made to turn out reluctant members for this colossal waste of time the May Day of 1974 did achieve what “Challenge Summer” of 1970 achieved, a general exit from serious T-U work or serious united front work. PLP was now moving back into total isolation.

Shortly before this march, John Harris was sent to Boston to try to reconstitute the Party there. He arrived a few months prior to the beginning of court-ordered bussing. A neo-fascist organization named ROAR (Restore Our Alienated Rights) had terrified much of white, Irish, South Boston into supporting its open appeals to racism and its literally violent opposition to school integration. The radical and liberal establishment in Boston (including the remnants of Israel’s group) were afraid to meet ROAR head on. Harris, however, who had been trained in the bloody confrontations of the SNCC-led Civil Rights Movement from Cambridge, Md., to Mississippi knew just what to do. Encouraged (long distance) by the NSC, Harris led ten brave PL’ers to go right down on the opening day of school to South Boston to welcome the bussed Black students, this in the face of a savage mob of 1,000 racists. Some were injured but PLP was again on the map in Boston. Moreover, the liberals (NAACP and SWP) were finally moved to try to do something about the “racists on a rampage” (ROAR). At this point had Harris followed his instincts PL, though small, could have entered a united front wrth the NAACP on some footing, thanks to the courageous action at South Boston High, and from there influenced in an ongoing way, thousands of anti-racists. But the “Struggle Against the Right-Wing Drift” forbade it, and Harris was closely supervised by New York. Thus PLP remained isolated from the mainstream of the movement, while the NAACP marched tens of thousands in Boston several times.

A double thrust was conceived by the NSC in order to counter the liberals, since PL by 1975 was beyond anything but the utmost hostility to any liberal misleaders, real or potential: (1) a May Day march in the heart of South Boston and (2) a Boston Summer Project. To Harris was left the execution of the May Day March, and the job was done excellently. Some 2,000 assembled from all over the East (more than double the 1974 May Day turnout). Before the busses arrived Harris led the PLP marshals in a physical rout of some 100 or so ROAR thugs, and the march courageously wound its way through the outskirts of South Boston to an integrated neighborhood amid much police provocation and repeated stonings by ROAR thugs.

For the summer project, however, Harris was shunted aside. Responsibility was originally entrusted to a group of inept Mid-Western professors, who ostensibly constituted the CAR leadership. However, these proved incapable of organizing anybody to come to Boston or making any on-the-spot arrangements. (The professors had not the least intentions of participating themselves.) Therefore, Janet Foley, PL’s student coordinator was entrusted with on-the-spot leadership; this was logical because despite the “CAR” signboard virtually all participants were PL members. Foley was both capable and courageous, two qualities necessary for the task, and might have achieved some success, except for inept interference from New York and from the Mid-Western professors and except for PL’s defeatist sectarian line.

The whole question of leadership in the Boston Summer was the example of PL’s methods of internal leadership and how in practice this led all power to be concentrated in Milt Rosen’s hands. John Harris was Party leader in Boston, but since all Party work there was in the Boston Summer Project he had no real leadership role except to advise. The project was led by CAR but the CAR chairman left Wisconsin only once for a brief visit and the professor who was the NC member in charge of CAR work never left Detroit. In Boston itself (also nationally) there were virtually no CAR leaders who were not also PL members. Janet Foley was the leader of the PL forces in the Summer Project, who amounted to 95% of the participants, with Bob Leonhardt as some kind of co-equal independent leader in charge of Harvard work. Such a complex organizational chart for leading only 100 people would have in any other organization led to mass confusion but all internal conflicts were solved easily by the simple procedure of “I’ll call Milt and see what he says.” Rosen, of course, was the final arbitrator of all disputes and from his bunker in New York was the real general.[154]

The best work was the door-to-door agitation in South Boston of whites, previously terrorized by the ROAR racists. Equally good were a series of sharp physical confrontations with the thugs which helped immensely to sap ROAR’s aura of invincibility. But their project was unable to develop a mass line and a mass approach nor was it able to unite with the mainstream of the anti-racist movement in Boston. Thus virtually no Bostonians were drawn into activity, no reforms were achieved, and no ties were developed that could last. The PL project participants remained totally isolated from Boston’s black community and antagonistic to the anti-racist organizations that were able to mobilize thousands for a march. In the end there was a spontaneous Black rebellion in Roxbury, but the PL project was alienated from it and played no direct role. Towards the end of the summer there was another mass NAACP march in which PL participated as a contingent hostile to the majority of the marchers. No Bostonians, white or black, were recruited to PL or CAR, and when the majority of PL members returned home at the end of the period, a rapid retreat began.

Since the project was unable to establish even minimal ties with Boston’s black community and other anti-racist forces, the physical confrontations with ROAR’s thugs ceased once the shock troops left in September. Janet Foley, herself, quit the Party that fall (John Harris had been moved to New York earlier) leaving the on-the-spot leadership in the hands of the cautious Leonhardt. The work in South Boston ceased and no further confrontations with ROAR took place after Foley’s departure. Thus the essence of the summer project was a series of brave but isolated exemplary actions that might have been useful if tied to the work of building a mass movement. But in and of themselves they were without lasting significance and the situation in Boston as far as PL was concerned returned to status quo antebellum.

VI

The WAM organization reached its highpoint in early 1973; the issue of “30 for 40” excited a number of advanced workers and almost 2,000 attended WAM Conventions that year. But the “Struggle Against the Right-Wing Drift” took its toll on WAM in the second half of 1973 and in 1974, as WAM was saddled with an increasingly narrow line WAM chapters dried up. The “30 for 40” campaigns ceased, and there was little if anything in the way of WAM activity. WAM’s line, originally only “30 for 40” and union democracy, became increasingly the PL line in all its aspects, becoming both more sectarian and anarchistic. Therefore the logical conclusion was to abolish WAM altogether. (This was not a problem since there never had been any WAM leaders not also in the Party.)

At the May, 1975 NC meeting Linder gave a report on the declining PL activity in the trade unions and the sad state of WAM. He typically proposed sharper internal party struggle to force the reluctant members to build up the WAM organization. Rosen disagreed and called for abolition of WAM altogether and the establishment instead of Party fractions on the job. It was the logical culmination of the “Struggle Against the Right-Wing Drift.” Obviously after two years of struggle against the Right-Wing Drift, “30 for 40” was too opportunistic a slogan to organize workers around, and, although WAM was an exact replica of the Party’s program in other respects, it didn’t organize workers on the basis of dictatorship of the proletariat. Since RTR III had declared that workers could and should be won directly to communism, WAM and “30 for 40” were “right wing obstacles” to the growth of PLP in the labor movement.[155] A Party fraction that produced “continuous on-the-job struggle 52 weeks a year led by (the) Party and (the) Party’s ideas”[156] was the answer. After Rosen spoke, Linder made an immediate and unnecessarily obsequious 180 degree turn and stated lie agreed with Rosen who “always saw things better than the rest of us.” The discussion ended shortly after that.[157] WAM was out, PL fractions were in, and the slogan “30 for 40” was shelved. From now on the Party’s own anarchist program was said to be broad enough to organize workers around.

Naturally this kind of thinking was so removed from reality that it only increased the tendency for anarchist exemplary actions. PL’ers who still participated in mass actions got short shrift. When the PL leader in Philadelphia, a president of a small welfare worker’s union, participated in the leadership of a three-week militant strike of 100,000 Pennsylvania state workers in July, 1975, he received no plaudits from his comrades in the NC but only brickbats for the drop in Challenge sales that accompanies his leadership role in the mass struggle. Instead of inquiring why workers in a mass struggle situation have no use for Challenge, the NSC decided that the Philadelphia “comrades were not putting the Party forward, this was not true communist leadership but revisionism.”[158] The PL’er in question was heavily criticized and was no longer invited to NC meetings. (When that unfortunate man pursued sufficiently sectarian policies so that his fellow workers, who at one time respected him, threw spitballs at him, he was once more re-instated on the NC.[159])

On the other hand, those members who got themselves involved in useless, isolated defeats were written up as heroes. When the Kansas City PL leader was fired from her job in September, 1975, she stood on a desk to give a speech and then was dragged out by guards, but was unable to unite with the union organizers on her job.[160] In the same month a PL’er working for the State of New Jersey was suspended for handing out a leaflet on his own calling for a job action, but was unable to get any fellow workers to sign a supportive petition.[161] In October PL’s only miner was kicked off the job by his fellow miners after he and PL members from near-by Pittsburg held a forum to denounce the “fascist” union president, Arnold Miller.[162] To support this last anarchist exemplary action, Wally Linder developed a novel tactic for PL – Mail-grams. Linder called all PL Party leaders with orders that each PL branch was to send a mailgram to the Union president denouncing his actions. In short order Mailgrams became a major PL weapon in the struggle during the fall of 1975. When a PL teacher in Connecticut and later a PL phone worker in the South were fired, Linder called all the areas and a stream of Mailgrams were sent out to the local Board of Education or boss or union president by PL’ers all over the country.[163] The tactic had zero results except to serve as a fig-leaf to cover the lack of PL’s influence in the mass-movement. Here, however, the ultimate logic of the anarchist, exemplary action was clear. The PL member was isolated from, if not downright hostile to his fellow workers. Therefore PLP was to shower the boss with petitions for mercy, not signed by the PL’ers fellow workers but by equally isolated PL’ers in other areas. It is for this type of thinking that Lenin coined the slogan “Left in Form, Right in Essence.” It is very “Left” to denounce “fascist” Miller or to stand on your desk and lecture the other workers about your communist beliefs, but the only counter to the bosses’ attack that PL could come up with was to send a protest Mailgram to the boss.

Very little serious trade-union work survived the winter from 1975-76. The only exception in basic industry was General Dynamics at Norwich, Ct. A Veteran PL worker, Bruce Burns, who some how survived the earlier retreat from the T-U movement, had been working there 5 years. He took the WAM and “30 for 40” line seriously and had built an impressive base at the plant under exceedingly difficult circumstances. During the 3 month strike in 1975 Burns’ influence as a militant and an incorruptible fighter for the working class (and through him the influence of PLP) increased to the point where on October 6 (14 weeks after the start of the strike) he was able to organize 100 people to bust the no-mass-picketing injunction, despite severe company-police pressure. From this a caucus grew, and strike support committees arose at near-by Connecticut colleges. Workers and working class students joined PL. But internal conflict arose in the late spring of 1976 between the appointed Connecticut Party leader, a middle class professor, and almost all of the members, who were of working class origin. Burns appealed to Linder and then to Rosen to intercede, thinking that they valued the only real industrial base PL had left. This was a miscalculation; the work at General Dynamics diverged from the sectarian “Party fraction” approach more than Burns realized, and was not valued very highly in New York. Burns and his club were told to submit to the leadership of the NSC appointee but they refused and the nine-member club was expelled. PL lost an organized base of 50 industrial workers close to the Party. (August, 1976.)[164] But the NSC in a September 20 letter to NC members was satisfied with its action: (illegal under the Constitution) and accused Burns of ”... abandoning communist ideas to ’work through the union movement’.” Here[165] the NSC let slip the basic reason for its displeasure with Burns: he was still working within the union movement instead of jumping into anarchist exemplary actions. In fact he was just winding up a campaign for the union presidency when he was expelled by PLP.

VII

CAR’s founding convention was organized around opposition to the academic racists and eugenicists a la Herrnstein, Jensen & Co. It was a big success. Some 1,200 people came in New York, another 250 in Los Angeles. At the Conventions, however, the Party narrowed down CAR by about two-thirds by putting forward the line, no free speech for the academic racists. Through its control of the apparatus PLP ensured that the line of no free speech for racists was in effect adopted.[166]

One of the constant problems about PLP was the general contempt for democracy held by the leadership. This was an internal problem, a problem with the line on mass work, and a problem in understanding the dictatorship of the proletariat. The dictatorship of the proletariat combines the broadest possible democracy for the working classes – a democracy 1,000 times more democratic than anything achievable under capitalism (Lenin, in fact called it a million times more democratic: “Proletarian democracy is a million times more democratic than any bourgeois democracy; Soviet power is a million times more democratic than the most democratic bourgeois republic.” (Lenin, Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky) – with the suppression of the former ruling classes. Obviously crass inciteful racism, for example KKK types, would be suppressed, but the dictatorship would be careful not to cut too wide a swath and suppress wrong ideas, that are thought to lead to racism. These ideas, for example the pseudo-scientific theories of Jensen, et al, should be sharply opposed, exposed and debated but not necessarily suppressed. This is the best way of training the proletariat to understand real science from false science and to defeat wrong and harmful ideas through ideological struggle.

Thus it is a debatable point whether “No Free Speech for Academic Racists” is a proper slogan for the dictatorship of the proletariat. What is certain is that it is an absurd slogan for the mass movement of our time. It spits in the face of the people, who in the main, believe democracy should be extended not curtailed. Such a slogan is a big departure from the Bolshevik pre-revolutionary tactics which always emphasized the demand for democratic rights, a democratic republic and academic freedom. A slogan so totally out of touch with the realities of where people are at was bound to narrow down the CAR organization to only those who held to PL’s questionable ideas on the dictatorship of the proletariat. CAR as a potential mass group was killed at its founding convention.

From then on CAR was but PLP under another name. Every hesitancy in making the CAR line exactly like the PL line in that aspect was considered a manifestation of “the right-wing drift” and CAR’s line progressively narrowed more and more, especially after the failure of CAR-led Boston Summer of 1975. By 1975 the line of CAR was now to include “Death to the Fascists” (in essence a call for armed struggle) and by 1976 “exposing the two-pronged strategy of nationalism and racism.”[167] (note the order). CAR’s occasional newspaper, Arrow, in its Dec. 1976 issue, echoed Challenge regarding the “threat” to U.S. imperialism of “Soviet influence” in Southern Africa. At a major rally in April 1977 the CAR line as enunciated by the national chairman of CAR in a carefully planned speech included scathing attacks on Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and almost every national liberation movement in Africa. On April 29 in Madison, Wisconsin “CAR led a sharp attack on black separatist Stokeley Carmichael here today... CAR members boldly took the stage and... exposed Carmichael as an... enemy of the working class. CAR... must not hesitate to attack Carmichael as other black... separatists in the future...”[168] In the short period since its birth the NSC brought CAR full circle from a potentially broad group focused against racism to a carbon copy of PL focused on attacking the nationalism of those oppressed by racism.

VIII

With the issuance of the document “Revolution, Not Reform” in October 1976 (RNR), PL incorporated the Utopian and anarchist theoretical errors of RTR III into a guiding line, an “operating strategy,” for its practical work. RNR marked the complete break with the strategic Marxist-Leninist concept of the mass line, the distinction between slogans of action on the one hand and the agitational slogans on the other and thus with the need for united front tactics. We have seen how PL already eschewed these Marxist-Leninist concepts in practice. RNR opens by analyzing PL’s problem: “We have found ourselves applying far too much of our time and thinking to building militant reform struggles...”[169] (sic!!!) For PL to make this “self-analysis” after PLP completed its four retreats of the sixties and then in the seventies shelved the “30 for 40” campaigns, retreated from anti-war activity on any level, narrowed CAR to a useless carbon-copy of PLP, was a joke in bad taste. The opposite was true. PL found itself “applying far too much time and thinking” on how to get out of “militant reform struggles.” The NSC claimed RNR was another “new contribution to Marxism” by PLP because it dealt with the relationship of the reform struggle to revolution. This, of course, was self-serving, ahistorical arrogance on the part of the NSC; the ideas in RNR were put forward long ago by Bakunin and other anarchists, a number of ultra-leftists whom Lenin had to defeat and more recently by contemporary “Left-wing” Trotskyites like the U.S. Spartacus League. Lenin, in his book What is to be Done? profoundly expounded on the need to inject revolutionary politics into the reform struggle. What RNR did contain (that What is to be Done? did not) was a rejection of and attack upon the struggle for reforms: “Reform builds the system. The Party’s role therefore is to make revolution that destroys the system not to make reform and build it.”[170] As Lenin would have said “What a pearl!” PL had “discovered” that the masses, by militantly fighting against the oppression they suffer as a result of the capitalist system, are somehow “building” that system! And, therefore, “the Party should not be involved in ’making reform.’” With these formulations PL again revised Marxism, both concerning the nature of reforms under capitalism as well as the role of revolutionaries in the reform struggle. Concerning the nature of reforms Stalin pointed out:

“Some are of the opinion that Leninism is opposed to reforms... This is absolutely untrue. Bolsheviks know as well as anybody else that in a certain sense ’every little bit helps’... it is not a question of reforms... but of the use that is made of reforms... with revolutionary tactics under the existing bourgeois regime reforms inevitably serve as instruments that disintegrate the regime, instruments that strengthen the revolution – a stronghold for the further development of the revolutionary movement.[171]

Concerning the significance of the struggle for reforms Marx observed:

“The general tendency of capitalist production is not to raise but to sink the average standard of wages or to push the value of labor more or less to its minimum limit. Such being the tendency of things in this system, is this saying that the working class ought to renounce their resistance against the encroachments of capital, and abandon their attempts at making the best of the occasional chances for their temporary improvement? If they did, they would be degraded to one level mass of broken wretches past salvation... By cowardly giving way in their everyday conflict with capital they would certainly disqualify themselves for the initiating of any larger movement.”[172]

And in regard to the role of revolutionaries in the reform struggle the Communist International, in a document drafter under Lenin’s guidance in 1921, declared:

“The Communists must take part in all the elementary struggles and movements of the workers, and must defend the workers’ cause in all conflicts between them and the capitalists over hours and conditions of labor, wages, etc... It is only through an every day performance of such elementary duties and participation in all the struggles of the proletariat that the Communist Party can develop into a real Communist Party. It is only by adopting such methods that it will be distinguished from the propagandists of the hackneyed, so-called pure socialist propaganda... It is only through leading the working masses in the petty warfare against the onslaughts of capitalism that the Communist Party will be able to become the vanguard of the working class, acquiring the capacity for systematic leadership of the proletariat in its struggle for supremacy over the bourgeoisie.” (“Thesis on the Organization of the Communist Parties” adopted by the 3rd Congress of the Communist International, 1921)

It is clear from these brief passages that Marxist-Leninists can only gain the leadership of the working class movement by joining the struggle for reforms at their present level and leading that struggle on all fronts. Only from this vantage point will Marxist-Leninists be able to guide the working class to revolution and socialism.

The classical anarchists of the mid-1800’s held the exact views of PLP and were strongly opposed by Marx. Michael Bakunin, one of the main anarchist leaders of this period, looked with scorn upon all fights for immediate reforms, advocating immediate insurrection, and he endorsed strikes only in the sense that they were small insurrections. The logic of the RNR document clearly leads toward modern anarchism.

IX

The anarchist essence of the new “Revolution not Reform” line was exposed in stark relief as loyal PL cadre began to carry out the new line around the country. In Detroit, PL’s main “on-the-job” work was based on a member who worked as a functionary at the Kercheval welfare office. On February 4th, 1977 Detroit PL mobilized all its forces city wide to hold demonstrations of two dozen people outside this welfare office chanting “The blood of the pig must flow in the street.” (A picture of a demonstrator carrying this provocative but totally apolitical slogan was actually given a featured treatment in the November 25, 1976 Challenge. The anarchist rhetoricians promised to have bosses “choking on poison.”)

Soon PL “escalated” by sending a PLer who was not an employee into the welfare office to engage in fist-fights with the office security guards.[173] When these mindless actions finally succeeded in getting the lone PL cadre in the office fired, (This man was the same one who initiated the Mack Avenue sit-down. In his case, we can see the tendency of anarchism to degenerate from a more mass to a least mass situation and from basic industry to an office of the government.) that cadre jumped on top of his desk, waved a Challenge around declaring, “I am a communist and will not allow myself to be turned into a racist pig,” and was quickly ejected by the security guards. This was hailed on the front page of Challenge as the way “a communist party... can win.”[174] Linder immediately sent out a call to all PL areas for protest mailgrams to the District Supervisor of Detroit Social Services as the National Party’s “revolutionary response to this ’fascist atrocity’.” Challenge in a front page appeal also asked PL members to send in their telegrams. However, in Detroit the local organization took the “Revolutionary situation” more seriously. The local Party chief had previously declared at an NC meeting in November that “we can’t wait six months for an insurrection,” and now he made arrangements to bring sandbags into the PL office. Then the Detroit leadership made concrete plans for the imminent insurrection. When Rosen heard about this, Linder was dispatched post-haste to Detroit to cool down the local hot heads and undoubtedly to explain the difference between loud talk about insurrection and taking the talk seriously.[175] The whole episode was a comedy of ultra-left adventurism mixed with right-wing opportunism (the mailgrams), local posturing about revolution and panic in the head office lest the Detroit police take the posturing seriously.

In New York City the anarchist tendency was fairly solidified in the practical work before “Revolution Not Reform” was published. A typical example was the “Battle of the Turnstiles” PL organized in August, 1975. The summer of 1975 was a time of unprecedented municipal layoffs and cutbacks; the potential was great for broad mass action and indeed many thousands did participate in mass action. But PL was always on the outside looking in when the mass protests took place. So PL had to play its “vanguard” role and at the end of the summer, 50 PL members “angrily marched to the 103rd St. subway station and stormed over the turnstiles and through the doors, protesting the transit fare hike, the cutbacks and layoffs.” This of course provoked a fight with the police. Five PL members were arrested and beaten. Challenge then billed this relatively minor incident as a “Labor demonstration for a general strike on the West Side of Manhattan.”[176] Actually thousands of New Yorkers jump over the turnstiles every day, in order not to pay the fare, but when PL does it, it is a “labor demonstration for a general strike.”

X

These anarchist actions not only became the general rule as they had been in 1971 (before the re-entry into the trade-union movement), but were now hailed on the front pages of Challenge as examples for the whole Party. This had not happened in 1971, and this made the whole trend, now given a “theoretical” basis in RNR so self destructive. Each anarchist action fed on the last and by late 1976 PLP was visibly sinking fast. In San Francisco, where there still remained a modicum of sense on how to do mass work, a determination arose not to go down with the sinking ship: to try to open a debate in PLP, if possible, to reverse the Party’s suicidal course; but at any rate not to go down to destruction with PLP. The Camp Pendleton 14 Campaign became the focus of these sharpening contradictions between the NSC and the Bay Area PLP leadership.

In November 1976 a group of 14 Black marines at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, supported by virtually all the Black marines on the base, struck against racism when they attempted to break up a KKK meeting on base. This followed months of struggle against the KKK, including the use of various official channels. The “Pendleton 14” were quickly thrown in the Brig and charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. The PL leadership in San Francisco immediately mobilized the California Party to launch a mass campaign in support of the Pendleton 14. From the outset of this campaign, a sharp two-line struggle developed over strategy and tactics for the defense effort. The San Francisco leadership proposed establishing the broadest possible Camp Pendleton 14 Defense Committee with the mass line of “Free the 14,” “Stop the KKK,” and “End Racism;” and the initiating of the broadest possible United Front in support of the “14.” The Los Angeles leadership opposed this effort to actually lead a mass anti-racist struggle and opposed even more seriously fighting to win the freedom of the 14. “We do not care whether these guys are freed or not, that’s not our concern. Our concern is revolution, not reform demands,” the Los Angeles PL leader stated at a West Coast leadership meeting.[177]

The San Francisco leadership defeated the Los Angeles leadership at a meeting of the West Coast leadership and the campaign began to assume, by PL standards, a fairly broad mass character. Dozens of community groups, student governments, some union locals and, particularly, numbers of Black student and community organizations including the Black Panther Party, endorsed the Defense Committee’s scheduled March on April 2nd. A team from San Francisco was dispatched to Oceanside over the protests of Los Angeles leaders. Many Black marines, including the Pendleton 14 themselves, began to gravitate around the Defense Committee. Mass meetings were held in San Francisco and the broadest and biggest PL-led campaign in two years began to take shape. The NSC now made aware of San Francisco’s “rightist deviations” by their loyal adherents in Los Angeles grew increasingly uncomfortable with the relatively successful development of the campaign.

Concurrent with the two-line struggle over the Pendleton campaign, a critical two-line struggle had developed over the relative strength of U.S. and Soviet imperialism and the tasks of Marxist-Leninists in regard to fighting U.S. imperialism. In the October 21st Challenge the NSC had printed an article entitled, “Rise of USSR as Top Imperialist Dog.” The article ignored many facts and distorted others and even made up a few in order to justify its untenable position that the USSR was the strongest imperialist power in the world today and therefore the main enemy of the people of the world. Challenge articles followed which began to take a social-patriotic color. Dann and Dillon wrote a letter to the National Committee refuting the C-D position and warning of the serious political consequences that could be engendered by this erroneous C-D view. Their letter was comradely in tone and called for “healthy Party debate.”[178]

It was in this political setting of the two-line struggle over the “Top Dog” controversy and the Pendleton campaign that Dillon and Kelly departed for the NC meeting of January 15 & 16, 1977. Rosen and Leonhardt met with Dillon the night prior to the NC meeting. Dillon told Rosen he wanted to open up the general question of united front in his report to the NC on Pendleton. Rosen replied by launching a vehement attack on Dillon and Dann for having written the letter to the NC disagreeing with the “Top Dog” article, Rosen told Dillon he had “a position” that differed from the NSC and thus would inevitably end up “taking the road of Bill Epton” and others in splitting the Party. When Dillon still maintained his position Rosen became more and more antagonistic reverting to the pseudo-psychological explanations for Dillon’s “bad attitude.”[179]

The next day Dillon gave a report to the NC defending the united front approach to the Pendleton campaign and launched a general critique of the infantile “leftism” and sectarianism that pervades PL’s thinking and practice. The NC exploded in anger: “There is no such thing as a left deviation,” one NC member exclaimed. “You should not be building the Defense Committee. We want to smash all organizations except PL and CAR,” shouted another. “The way to get media coverage for the Pendleton 14 is to occupy the radio and TV stations,” contributed Scheer.[180]

Rosen and Scheer also revealed their view towards how a Party leader should relate to the mass movement when they criticized Dillon for leading the mass work in the Pendleton campaign and ordered him to withdraw and spend his time collecting Challenge sales figures. The PL document, “Revolution not Reform,” was cited by Rosen and Scheer as the ideological basis for this vitriolic attack on united front work around immediate mass demands in general and the Pendleton campaign in particular. Dillon approached Rosen after the meeting and requested there be a minority report from the meeting and a Party-wide debate. Rosen ignored the request. Unable to give to the San Francisco membership a full report of what went on in the NC by Party rules, which forbid debates in the leadership to be repeated to the membership, Dillon and Kelly, supported by Dann, temporized by postponing a report and carrying on the Pendleton campaign as before, hoping somehow the NSC would east its hostile position and a compromise could be reached. This was foolish whistling in the dark on their part.

The split that followed the January NC by two months was inevitable. It was the result of there existing in the Party two diametrically opposed lines, and of there not existing within the Party any mechanism to resolving the conflict. “Two lines in the Party is one too many,” wrote Milt Rosen to the other NSC members just prior to the split.[181] Because the San Francisco leadership hoped to avoid a split, while at the same time refusing to submit to the NSC, the months of February and March were months of some of the most intense inner-Party struggle PL ever saw. For Dann, Dillon, Kelly and the other Marxist-Leninist forces that fought the NSC line on the Camp Pendleton Campaign the struggle was an eye opener. PL’s reactionary line on this campaign, the scab line during the State strike, the retreats from SDS, “30 for 40” and the T-U movement, and the anarchist practical work was now seen as a derivative of the line of RTR III. All this became clearer. What the majority of San Francisco members saw now when they looked at PLP was not a Marxist-Leninist Party but a reactionary anarchist sect, not an anti-racist force, but a force which equated the nationalism of the oppressed with the racism of the oppressor and a group whose ultra-left demogogy now could no longer cover up its fear of the masses.

To the PL’ers who had worked long and hard to build the campaign to free the “14” the scabby, racist Challenge editorial of March 17 was the last straw. In the past Challenge editorials had attacked every mass movement led by “revisionists,” “nationalists,” i.e. anyone not in PLP. Now Challenge attacked a movement led by PLP. At a time when the Party members were trying to mobilize for a state-wide march in Oceanside, the slanderous editorial, which implied that the Defense Committee was under the control of bankers and politicians,[182] was seen as nothing less than premeditated sabotage of the March in Oceanside. This was the rightist essence of the “leftist” NSC rhetoric. (The “Leftist” NSC was in objective alliance with the rightist KKK, which was also out to stop the March.) And the editorial was a great help by negative example in clarifying the two-line struggle in PLP.

Rosen’s arrogant attitude during his visit to San Francisco on March 23, 1977 (immediately after kicking Dann, Dillon and Kelly off the NC and the local leadership) was likewise a great help in teaching the Marxist-Leninist opposition the futility of trying to stay and struggle within PLP. Rosen had the unique and unpleasant experience of being confronted by over 100 members and friends, including the Fourteen Marines, who were not afraid to call Rosen a racist to his face. The Marxist-Leninist Opposition quoted chapter and verse of Lenin and reviewed PL’s unhappy history in order to vehemently expose and thoroughly refute PLP’s anti-Marxist line. Rosen was on the defensive the whole night. The NSC loyalists were clearly only a small minority.[183] Twelve days later, came the split; 72 California members and J. Harris, who was in Birmingham, quit PL.

The small group of NSC-loyalists, in order to establish their credentials as good anarchists engaged in some small, foolish, exemplary actions that cost two of them their jobs in the month following the split. But in Los Angeles, where the 60-member Party group now became the center of PL on the Coast, anarchism ran wild with both ludicrous and dangerous results.

On April 16 the Davis Cup Tennis Matches were held in Los Angeles. The bloodstained Apartheid Regime in South Africa sent its representatives. A broad spectrum of forces on the Left were determined to protest the appearance of the racist South African team. One of the groups, an anti-racist committee in Pasadena, had been working with a PL member and invited PLP to be part of the coalition that would demonstrate on Saturday, April 16. The anarchists scornfully rejected the offer of unity and set their own purely revolutionary demonstrations on Sunday so as not to be seen in the same block as these reform-minded groups. The result was a united front demonstration of 1,000 Saturday that militantly invaded the tennis courts, disrupted the Davis Cup Matches, made clear to the racists that representatives of the Apartheid Regime were not welcome, no matter what their guise. On the day following as a ludicrous anti-climax, PLP, disguised as CAR that day for reasons best known to themselves, held a lonely picket line of 40 isolated people, which was praised by the Los Angeles Times as an “orderly picket of 40 people” in welcome contrast to the unruly mob the day before. (“Left in Form, Right in Essence.”)

On June 18 the anarchist leadership in L.A. held a demonstration purportedly in support of illegal aliens (but which had the opposite effect), that ended in a fight with the police. Some 29 were arrested and many of the remaining undocumented workers in PLP found themselves in jail on felonies without bail, facing almost certain deportation. The danger of anarchist leadership to these PL members who now face grave hardship as a result of criminally negligent local leaders had been brought home. The Los Angeles PL leadership had no recourse but to hire a team of lawyers to try to unravel the knot with which the anarchists had tied themselves. (“Left in Form, Right in Essence.”)

But here we will end the chronicle of PLP and try to draw some conclusions. PLP as an organization, declining in numbers, with zero influence on the mass movement, still exists and is likely to exist for some time. Anarchism was a natural trend among the petty-bourgeoisie in an epoch when the right-wing opportunists dominated and destroyed the International Communist Movement. We can now draw some conclusions on the differences between anarchism and revolutionary Marxism-Leninism based on the history of PLP. No further useful purpose would be served in attempting to follow the further history of the Party.


Endnotes

Abbreviations Used in Endnotes

EA: Eyewitness Account: Some 30 former members of PLP contributed to these accounts, including seven former NC members, at least one of whom was present at all NC meetings between April, 1965 and March, 1977. Whenever this citation is used the account has been carefully crosschecked with other witnesses.

CD: Challenge-Desafio, PL’s national newspaper.

PL: PL magazine, PL’s national theoretical magazine.

IB: PL internal bulletin.

CW: Collected works.

[148] EA

[149] EA

[150] NSC Letter to NC members, June, 1975.

[151] EA

[152] EA

[153] CD, V. 13, No. 33, January 13, 1977, p. 4.

[154] EA

[155] EA

[156] “Report on Trade-Union Work from the NC,” May, 1975.

[157] EA

[158] FA

[159] EA

[160] CD, V. 12, No. 18, October 2, 1975, p. 5.

[161] CD, V. 12, No. 20, October 16, 1975, p. 5.

[162] CD, V. 12, No. 23, November 6, 1975, p. 5.

[163] EA

[164] EA

[165] NSC letters to NC members, September 20, 1976.

[166] EA

[167] IB, April 5, 1977.

[168] CD, V. 14, No. 1, May 26, 1977.

[169] C-D, V. 13, No. 20, October 14, 1976, p. 3.

[170] Ibid.

[171] Stalin, C-W, V. 6, p. 172-173.

[172] Marx, “Wages, Price and Profit.”

[173] CD, V. 13, No. 39, February 24, 1977, p. 4.

[174] CD, V. 13, No. 40, March 3, 1977, p. 1.

[175] EA

[176] CD, V. 13, No. 14, September 11, 1975, p. 4.

[177] EA

[178] IB, January 12, 1977, p. 46.

[179] EA

[180] EA

[181] Letter to the NC entitled “Two Concepts of the United Front,” March, 1977.

[182] CD, V. 13, No. 42, March 17, 1977, p. 2.

[183] EA