First Published: People’s Voice, Vol. IV, No. 2, July 15, 1968
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Following the publication in the last issue of the PEOPLE’S VOICE of the Central Committee notice of expulsion of M. I. Laski from the Communist Party U.S.A. (Marxist-Leninist) there have been several new relevant developments as well as questions from readers concerning certain aspects of the expulsion.
First, as it was not made clear in the last issue of the PEOPLE’S VOICE, at the time of the expulsion of Laski from the Party on June 22, 1968, Laski held no post of responsibility within the Party. Mr. Laski, seeing his bourgeois ideology and actions being revealed to a greater and greater degree this past Spring had made a vain attempt to save himself within the Party by making certain superficial self-criticisms and resigning his positions of General Secretary and member of the Central Committee. These resignations took place at the Central Committee meeting of May 12, 1968. At that meeting, the Central Committee accepted Mr. Laski’s resignations and decided that a final determination on the status of M. I Laski would be made at a Central Committee meeting in June.
Between the Central Committee meeting of May 12 and the meeting scheduled in June, Mr. Laski revealed that he had not been serious in the criticisms he had made of himself (superficial as those self-criticisms had been), that he did not recognize his more serious errors, and that he was not about to correct any of his errors. He moved to Wheeling, West Virginia and attempted at that point to establish a dual political center of the Party, in opposition to the true center in Los Angeles, asking fraternal organizations and individuals both nationally and internationally to write to him personally in Wheeling under his pseudonym of Joseph Steele (sic!). Furthermore, Mr. Laski, although removed from the post of General Secretary and from the Central Committee, attempted to be a “power behind the throne,” taking the attitude that “The Party and Marxism-Leninism is me!”, and specifically taking the attitude that if any negative criticism concerning himself or his loss of position in the Party were made public that it would cause irreparable damage to the Party and to Marxism-Leninism.
Clearly, Mr. Laski expected the Central Committee to vindicate his bourgeois ideology and actions – to give him a light reprimand, perhaps, and then to restore the Party, lock, stock, and barrel to his control. However, the Central Committee found that Mr. Laski’s past errors and present attitude were so serious and so damaging to the Party that the Central Committee decided that expulsion of Laski was the only course open to the Party. Sorry Mr. Laski: counterrevolutionary ideology and behavior may reap you rewards and praise in the bourgeois press and from bourgeois authorities, but in this Marxist-Leninist organization you knew where you were headed.
The reaction by Mr. Laski to the public announcement of his expulsion from the Party has been true to the opportunist renegade tradition for which he was expelled.
During the last two weeks, Mr. Laski has contacted all those members and friends of the Party he can lay his hands on to claim that he really was not expelled, that the Central Committee meeting which expelled him was a rump meeting, and that the last issue of the PEOPLE’S VOICE with his notice of expulsion was a “bogus” issue. No mention is being made by Mr. Laski of the May 12, 1968 meeting of the Central Committee during which time he resigned all positions in the Party and his resignations were accepted. Instead he now signs his correspondence (written on some Party stationery he kept with him) as “General Secretary,” as though the Central Committee and its authority never existed.
Furthermore, Mr. Laski has now, to suit his fancy, been telling whomever he can get in contact with, that there is a “new” member of the Central Committee who is siding with Laski – a man who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia. Is this “new” member perhaps Joseph Steele? These claims by Mr. Laski are the first that the Central Committee has ever heard of this “new” member. Sorry again, Mr. Laski, but desiring to have on the Central Committee someone who you think is personally loyal to you now that you are expelled from the Party does not make that person a Central Committee member – he will have to be a bit more than a personal desire on your part to be a Central Committee member.
And, as if to show that perhaps the Central Committee criticisms of Mr. Laski have not been strong enough, Mr. Laski has engaged in action lately which further condemns him to the trash heap of all renegades in history. He has during the last two weeks, l) defaulted the Communist Party U.S.A. (Marxist-Leninist) of $1,000 which belonged to the Party; 2) filed a “complaint” with the Post Office Department over the Party Post Office box at Watts Station in Los Angeles, so that now, for at least 30 days, all mail to that Post Office box shall go directly to Washington, D.C. where it will be held and examined while the “complaint” is “processed” by the U.S. Government; and, 3) to show how low and truly reactionary Mr. Laski’s ideology and behavior is, Mr. Laski has now threatened to make public certain information concerning the past Party work of various comrades – information which, if made public, would get those comrades in extremely serious trouble with the bourgeois authorities, and which could send several of the comrades to jail. This information will be released to the authorities, Laski says, unless the Party equipment and files are turned over to Laski. Well, we are sorry for a third time, Mr. Laski, but the Party has already taken the steps necessary to insure that information and equipment vital to the Party is secure from you and your bourgeois masters – no longer is the Party being run as it was under your leadership where the Party equipment and files were available to the class enemy for the taking.In line with this blackmail approach which Mr. Laski is taking has been his recent maneuvering in order to file suit in the bourgeois courts against the Party in order to get the bourgeois court to order the Party to hand over the Party equipment and files to Mr. Laski, and to order the Party to restore Mr. Laski to his former position of leadership. Mr. Laski, of course, is desperate, and he has nothing to lose by taking off his mask of revolution and asking his bourgeois masters to do with the Party what he himself is incapable of doing. But we are sorry to disappoint you again for the fourth time, Mr. Laski, but the Party will not allow the class enemy to decide the Party’s composition and leadership – the Party will do that itself. Politics indeed make strange bedfellows!