Published: Progressive Labor, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Revolutionary workers and students, members and friends of the Progressive Labor Party, should study and evaluate the split between the Albanian Party of Labor (PLA) and the Communist Party China (CPC). Some of the reasons why this study should be undertaken are: (a) Albanian and Chinese communists played a vanguard role in the late 50’s and early 60’s in the struggle against modern revisionism, and influenced the ideological development of many revolutionary communists around the world, including the Progressive Labor Party, (b) The split between PLA and CPC not only further exposes the depth of the degeneration of the Chinese revisionists but exposes revisionism and opportunism within the PLA as well, (c) The split raises once again a number of important ideological questions, such as: the national question, what is socialism, what is the role of a vanguard communist party, is there a left, right and center in the international communist movement, how should ideological differences between communist parties be handled, and what is the correct revolutionary strategy to defeat the growing danger of war and fascism. Also, the PLA has attracted a number of formerly disenchanted pro-CPC groups, and has been a factor in the split between the Canadian Party of Labor and the Progressive Labor Party.
All these questions require further study and this paper is aimed at opening up discussion on some of the above for comrades and friends to think about and comment on.
The PLA says that its differences with the CPC go back more than 15 years. They reveal that the top CPC leaders, Chou En-lai, Liu Shao-chi, Teng Hsiao-ping and by implication Mao, sought a reconciliation with the Soviet revisionists back in 1960. They indicate that they struggled against the vacillations of Mao, Chou and Co. about their efforts to collaborate with the Soviet revisionists. They say they opposed Mao’s wrong strategy of introducing the border dispute into the anti-revisionist struggle. They characterize this as a bourgeois nationalist deviation.
The PLA also says that it opposed many unprincipled aspects of the Cultural Revolution and that the only reason why they publicly praised it was as a personal favor to Chairman Mao! They reveal that the current leaders of the CPC asked them to repudiate the Cultural Revolution, which they refuse to do saying that it is up to the CPC leadership itself to evaluate the Cultural Revolution (as if it were only a matter of internal Chinese concern). The PLA has never analyzed the G.P.C.R., its positive or negative features.
The Albanians also reveal that the CPC never informed them in advance about the Kissinger-Nixon negotiations and that they only found out about this international event through the foreign news services; and that when they did, they vigorously opposed it “in private.”
Because of their opposition to the reactionary policies of the CPC, the Chinese sent no delegation to the PLA’s 6th Congress in 1971. Relations became purely formal and minimal after that. The PLA characterizes Mao’s “three world theses” as anti-Marxist-Leninist and states that the CPC leaders’ line is to build China into an imperialist super-power. The Albanians say that the CPC’s line is thoroughly revisionist and counter-revolutionary.
Despite this assessment, the PLA never made any public attacks on the CPC’s counter-revolutionary line until recently. In fact the PLA takes offense at the “charge” that they did make such a public attack. They say:
The accusation of the Chinese leadership is groundless. For this suffice it to read the documents of the 7th Congress, which are all made public. It is not difficult for anyone to see that it contains no attacks either against China, the Communist Party of China or Mao Tse-tung. (Letter of the Party of Labor of Albania to the CPC.)
After the Chinese rapproachment with Tito, the PLA publicly began to criticize the “three-worlds theory” as a reactionary line. However, it was only after the Chinese had cut off all military and civil aid to Albania that the PLA severed their relations with the revisionists and came out with the history of their secret struggle against Chinese revisionism. Such a position can hardly be defended as one of genuine concern for the revolutionary socialist consciousness of the international working class and as a defense of Marxist-Leninist principles. Rather it is a clear example of national self-interest taking priority over the revolutionary interests of the international working class.
Genuine communist parties must never keep their struggles against counter-revolutionary theories and policies secret from the masses. Nor should they play the hypocrite and publicly endorse reactionary policies while secretly opposing them. Such views and practices show complete contempt for the masses. Marxism-Leninism is not the private property of a few so-called knowledgeable leaders. M-L belongs to the masses, ideological questions on matters of fundamental principles and the struggle against revisionist deviations must be made a public matter of mass concern, not of private and secret concern for a handful of top leaders. This is not at all in contradiction with democratic centralism and the need for disciplined unity in struggle against the class enemy.
Of course not every particular difference of estimate, or tactical difference should be made into a matter of public debate between parties or within parties. Not every criticism or self-criticism of individual leaders need be made into a public issue. But this certainly has not been a particular danger in the history of the communist movement; the errors have been in the other direction.
It is our view that the international communist movement has never satisfactorily solved the problem of the correct handling of contradictions between comrades and friends and that public ideological struggles have almost always been directed against enemies. In the particular case of the PLA’s secret polemics, however, they themselves indicate that this was a struggle against revisionist, counter-revolutionary policies. This indicates that it was an antagonistic contradiction on matters of fundamental principles, hence there was not any valid reason to keep this an internal matter!
In the history of the Bolshevik Party ideological questions between comrades and friends were often debated publicly. Although polemics were often sharp, they were conducted within the frame of a dispute between comrades who were on the same side of the revolutionary class struggle. We must study this history more thoroughly and review the question of how to handle contradictions between comrades and friends, particularly under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The practice of the PLA of maintaining a close alliance with forces they themselves characterized as revisionist, counter-revolutionary, and aspiring super-imperialists is clearly wrong. To “justify” this practice with a “theory” that says that “relations” between fraternal parties in state power should never be severed or disputes on matters of principle never publicly aired until aid is cut off is a “theory” deserving of contempt by serious communists. Those who collaborate with revisionists and renegades suddenly launch a public attack, without a single word of self-criticism for their past practice of publicly defending renegades for years after they had been exposed as renegades! There is nothing honest, much less communist, about such behavior.
Incidentally, the Canadian Party of Labor (CPL) now hails the PLA as a new vanguard in the fight against revisionism and Enver Hoxha, the PLA leader, as a new Lenin-Stalin. This is absurd, and further exposes the CPL leaders’ own anti-Marxist-Leninist, opportunist turnabout from the Party’s former position. Like the PLA leaders whom the CPL admire so much, they too have not uttered one word of self-criticism about their own past history of differences with the PLA as an ally of the CPC revisionists. Birds of a feather!
If the PLA had accompanied its attack on the CPC revisionists with a self-critical evaluation of its own past practices in defense of renegades, then revolutionary communists around the world could take their public polemics in defense of M-L principles more seriously.
Many of the PLA’s criticisms of the CPC’s obviously revisionist line, theories, and practices are correct. However, the PLA’s attacks are shallow, and not simply because they kept their “principled struggles” a secret from the masses, but primarily because the PLA’s own line is incorrect on a number of vital questions. These include: the national question; the growing danger of war and fascism; the historical significance of the Cultural Revolution and ideological struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Like the CPC revisionists, the PLA still advocates the two-stage theory of revolution for the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. They still cling to the strategy of bourgeois national liberation and bourgeois self-determination, or “the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution,” as the first stage, to be followed by the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat, the second stage. This wrong two-stage strategy hangs like an albatross around the necks of revolutionary communists throughout the world. From Iran to Nicaragua, from India and Southeast Asia, to Africa and Latin America, revolutionary communists are setting aside the struggle for socialist revolution in order to build a “broad anti-imperialist bourgeois democratic and anti-fascist front” with so-called petty bourgeois or “national bourgeois democratic” forces. Instead of winning the masses to proletarian revolution, which is the only kind of revolution capable of smashing imperialism and fascism–instead of building the socialist class consciousness of the workers, peasants and students–bourgeois democratic ideas prevail. Above all, nationalism is developed and defended as some form of proletarian patriotism. Loyalty to one’s own “nation,” instead of loyalty to the international working class has been the poison that has destroyed the old communist movement as a once powerful force for revolution.
There is no such thing as “proletarian nationalism.” Nationalism in any and all its forms is a product of capitalism and is the ideology of the capitalist class. The working class can never strategically defeat the class enemy with the ideas of the class enemy. As Lenin pointed out long ago, “Either bourgeois ideology or socialist ideology”–there is no in between!
While advocating the two-stage theory of revolution, the PLA tries to modify the former classical position on working with so-called anti-imperialist sections of the bourgeoisie. They say:
Therefore it is absurd to pretend that one must fight only against the external imperialist enemies without, at the same time, fighting and attacking the internal enemies, the allies and collaborators of imperialism ... All strata of the bourgeoisie without exception including the compradore bourgeoisie, cannot be identified as anti-imperialist forces, as a basis and factors which carry forward the struggle against imperialism, as the so-called theory of “three worlds” does. (Theory and Practice of the Revolution, p. 11)
They also point out:
Thus, in connection with the first tendency (the internationalization of economic and political life by the capitalist monopolies), in many countries liberated from colonialism, the ties of the local bourgeoisie with foreign imperialist capital have not only been preserved, but are being strengthened and extended in many colonial forms, such as the multinational companies, various economic and financial mergers, etc. This bourgeoisie which occupies key positions in the economic and political life of these countries, and which is growing, is a pro-imperialist force and enemy of the revolutionary and liberation movement. (Theory and Practice of the Revolution, p. 14)
While correctly indicating that the so-called national bourgeoisie is a class enemy who “is linked by a thousand and one threads with foreign imperialists” the PLA urges the proletariat in Asia, Africa and Latin America to first lead a bourgeois democratic revolution as a transition to a higher stage, the struggle for socialism.
The Progressive Labor Party has written extensively opposing the two-stage strategy (see Road to Revolution III; Revolution and Reform). Much more work is required. We must recognize that the strategy of the old communist movement, including the Bolshevik, Chinese and Albanian revolutions, was guided by the two-stage theory. Because this strategy in fact did bring communist parties into power, the influence of the past blinds many to the realities of current world capitalist system and the rise of modern revisionism. These realities are: a. the mode of production in Asia, Africa, and Latin America (as well as Europe and North America) is capitalist and is not feudal or “semi-feudal” b. The world peasantry is being proletarianized (as Marx and Engels predicted) and must be viewed as an integral part of the international working class, c. The so-called national liberation anti-imperialist revolution is in essence a class question, a form of the global class struggle to liberate the working class from the domination of capital, foreign and domestic. This can only be done by proletarian revolution for the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is precisely because both foreign and domestic capital is “linked by a thousand and one threads” and “the internationalization of political and economic life by capitalist monopolies” that the proletariat which is developing rapidly everywhere must not be tied to backward capitalist banners of nationalism, but to communist proletarian banners of internationalism–the global struggle for a socialist world.
The two-stage theory says to the working class masses: “First free the nation from foreign capital, then free the nation from domestic capital.” This denies the reality of the interconnection between foreign and domestic capital, and the global nature of the world capitalist system. Certainly there are contradictions between various sectors of capital, nationally and internationally, which must not be ignored.
However, the strategy of the communist movement must be linked to the contradiction between labor and capital and not the contradiction between various sectors of the capitalist class. It is precisely because the CPC revisionists link their strategy to the contradiction between the imperialists and not to the contradiction between labor and capital that they have dreamed up their counterrevolutionary “three-worlds theory.” While opposing this “theory” the PLA is tied to the same incorrect analysis of the national question as the Chinese, the Russians and the Eurocommunist revisionists.
The CPL admirers of Hoxha have now adopted the same wrong line on the national question and two-stage outlook in Quebec as the PLA. And like the PLA, they do so without any self-criticism of their previous position.
The PLA generally defends Lenin’s correct theses on the inevitability of war under imperialism. We agree with PLA that the CPC’s line–that Soviet imperialists are the sole main enemy of the international working class is a counter-revolutionary line. In fact PLP (formerly together with CPL) stood virtually alone in the world in exposing and opposing the Chinese revisionists while the PLA was in alliance with them and publicly hailing them as genuine Marxist-Leninists.
However, while affirming that both the Soviet and U.S. imperialists are equally dangerous class enemies, the PLA foolishly denies the fact that U.S. imperialism is in serious decline and has been weakened as a result of the growth of Soviet imperialism as well as the growth of other imperialist powers, Germany and Japan. To deny this reality is to play into the hands of the Chinese revisionists and actually give some credence to their wrong “main enemy” line.
As PLP has pointed out many times over the years, U.S. imperialism is indeed in steep decline (see Fortune article “What it means to be number’ two”). Inter-imperialist rivalry between Soviet and U.S. imperialists is sharpening everywhere. The U.S. is striving to maintain what it can and to recoup its losses wherever it can, while Soviet imperialists are impinging on U.S. hegemony all over the globe. It is because of this changing relationship of forces (a manifestation of the law of uneven development) that the danger of world war is growing more intense. In this regard the CPC’s analysis of the changing relationship of inter-imperialist forces and their estimate that war is likely by 1985 and a virtual certainty by 1990 is more accurate than the PLA’s, which in practice downgrades the danger of world war and fascism. PLP puts no dates on the inevitable conflict, but warns the working class to be prepared for this eventuality sooner rather than later! Indeed we stress that it could happen much, much sooner. Therefore it is all the more urgent that communists prepare the masses for revolution now!
Again the PLA’s critique of the counter-revolutionary “three-world’s line” with regards to the danger of a new war is weakened by several other mistaken views. The PLA says that the Chinese want to instigate war between the Soviets and the U.S. to begin in Europe. But they warn that the U.S. wants the Soviets to begin war with an attack on the Chinese. Then they say that while the Soviets are aggressive everywhere, the Chinese are miscalculating because the Soviets will probably attack China first before they attack Europe. Frankly we don’t know where the initial conflict will begin. Whether it starts in the Mid-east, South Africa, Iran or wherever, to put much emphasis on this secondary point is misleading to the international working class. Wherever the conflict starts it is a threat to the entire international working class, which must react with active revolutionary struggle to turn the imperialist war into a class war for socialism!
Why does the PLA play this speculative “where will the war begin” game? Because they view the international class struggle in nationalist terms. They try to appeal to Chinese nationalism by saying: “you are miscalculating, China will suffer the first blows.” But does the Chinese alliance with U.S. imperialism become less counter-revolutionary if China were not to suffer the first blows? Of course not!
Because of these same nationalist blinders, the PLA also does not repudiate the “theory” of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” They write:
Of course, it happens and may happen, that this or that country is oppressed or directly threatened by one of the superpowers, but this in no case means that the other superpower does not constitute a danger to that same country, and even less that the other superpower has become a friend of that country. The principle, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” cannot be applied when it is a matter of the two imperialist superpowers, the Soviet Union and the U.S. (Theory and Practice, p. 29.)
Rather than repudiating this anti-M-L principle, the PLA merely says that the CPC is misapplying it. Throughout their critique of the “three-worlds theory” the PLA correctly points out that “it is anti-Marxist to identify the contradictions between various imperialist powers (Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada, etc.) and the two superpowers with the struggles of the working masses and peoples against imperialism, for its destruction.” (p. 20).
If this is true–and it is–how is it possible for any imperialist power to become a friend of the international proletariat? Why doesn’t the PLA repudiate all alliances with the class enemy? Because they do not want to criticize the Soviet alliance with U.S. imperialism during World War II. In fact the PLA has never criticized any policy of Stalin’s. Thus, the PLA’s attack on the CPC revisionist line is full of serious weaknesses. CPC apologists respond to the PLA’s attacks by simply indicating that if it was OK for Stalin to make such an alliance in World War II against the fascists, why can’t the Chinese? The PLA’s weak response is to say that “the Soviet imperialists is OUR main enemy –and so it goes.
International revolutionary communists must oppose alliances of any kind with the class enemy, no matter what the pretext. Once revolutionary communists start wheeling and dealing with the class enemy, whether a “main” one or a “lesser” one, they have started down the road to revisionism. Obviously this does not mean that workers must never reach any temporary agreements with the bosses under the gun of ruling class state power. PLP does not oppose trade union contract struggles or other such types of temporary compromises or agreements. However, this has nothing in common with policies of class collaboration!
Finally Nexhmije Hoxha, in her important article on ’Some Fundamental Questions” indicates two interrelated points with regards to the question of war. She says:
Another fact makes the all-round preparation of the proletariat for the revolution even more essential; there is a real danger that another world war may break out. It is the duty of the proletariat to struggle against an aggressive war, but when this war becomes inevitable, the proletariat should turn it into a revolution. But this can not be done in one day, nor can it be done without systematic prior preparation, without a high level of revolutionary consciousness, mobilization and organization, without the leadership of genuine Marxist-Leninist parties. (p. 54; emphasis added)
and later on she points out:
Of decisive importance for a correct orientation on this problem (the question of alliances) as any other problem or phenomenon, is the establishment of the clear class criterion: alliances with whom and for what?– this is how the Marxist-Leninist present the question.
Yes, Nexhmije Hoxha, there must be a high level of socialist class consciousness, mobilization, and organization of the international proletariat under the leadership of genuine M-L parties in order to turn the imperialist war into a class war for socialism. But this urgent need did not begin the day after the CPC ended its program of aid to Albania! Yes. Nexmije Hoxha, “alliances with whom and for what” must be viewed with a clear class criterion, and that is the revolutionary interests of the international proletariat. How do you explain your long alliance with the CPC revisionists, and for what (the civil and military aid that they subsequently cut off)? Can any honest communist say that the PLA is now publicly criticizing the CPC revisionist leaders out of concern for the international proletariat? Rather isn’t it clear that Albanian leaders are acting out of what they perceive as the national self-interests of Albania and of the necessity of maintaining their own credibility with Albanian workers?
As previously indicated, at least if the PLA had accompanied its criticism of the CPC with some self-criticism, revolutionary communists would give the PLA more credence.
The PLA played a vanguard role in the struggle against Soviet revisionism.
However, the PLA never analyzed the roots of Soviet revisionism. Instead of an analysis they defend the period under Stalin’s leadership uncritically–as if revisionism dropped out of the heavens or arose spontaneously from the depths of hell. They push the theses of a Khrushchev coup, but they never explain the absence of a significant mass revolutionary opposition to the Khrushchevites and their successors. While it is correct to defend Stalin from his revisionist detractors, to do so uncritically is not only unscientific, but plays into the hands of the anti-Stalin slanderers. The main point is that workers and communists learn nothing from such a distorted view of historical development. It dooms the working class to repeat errors that gave rise to the revisionist takeover in the first place.
Again the PLA says that they are not Maoists, they now even criticize Mao Tse-tung Thought as a reactionary anti-Marxist-Leninist view. They say:
The Chinese version of modern revisionism goes even further in the struggle against Leninism than all the revisionists that preceded it, by opposing to it the so-called “Mao Tse-tung Thought” and its offspring–the theory of “three worlds” which is a complete negation of the revolution. (Report by Ramiz Alia, Secretary of the C.C. of PLA, p. 8)
The PLA says that they are not pro-“gang of four,” nor pro-Lin Piao or any faction of the CPC. Their attack on the Cultural Revolution comes from the right. They see nothing positive in it. Yet they hailed it as an historical development as a personal favor to Mao! Is this the principled communist leadership of the Lenin-Stalin type?
The PLA has in fact never even analyzed the Cultural Revolution! PLP, with far less revolutionary experience and with only a few contacts with the CPC during the 1960’s, was able to make an essentially correct evaluation of the Cultural Revolution. We hailed the Cultural Revolution (and still do) as an historic development on a plane with the great proletarian revolutions of the past from which the revolutionary communist must study and can learn a lot about class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat, (see Road to Revolution III). We first made this analysis almost a decade ago. Based on it, we were able to correctly predict the demise of the CPC as a communist vanguard and the capitalist road that China has now obviously taken.
PLP made this correct analysis not because of any special knowledge or great genius but because we utilized our understanding of Marxist-Leninist principles to serve the interests of the international working class. We had analyzed the roots of Soviet revisionism, refusing to take a one-sided view of Stalin or of any great Marxist, such as Lenin, and we recognized that nationalism and narrow self-interests are antagonistic to the principles of proletarian internationalism.
The PLA has not made an analysis of either the roots of Soviet revisionism, nor of Chinese revisionism because of their own narrow nationalist and self-interest outlook.
The PLA opposes U.S. imperialism, opposes Soviet revisionism, opposes Chinese revisionism, opposes the Euro-communist revisionists, proclaims that it is for the dictatorship of the proletariat and the armed struggle of the working class for socialist revolution. Yet PLP continues to criticize the PLA as infected with revisionism and opportunism. Why?
The first requirement of a genuine M-L party is that it pursues a line that is guided by the revolutionary interests of the international proletariat. Secondly, it must draw a clear line of demarcation between itself and the modern revisionists who have thoroughly betrayed the working class and have turned millions of former revolutionaries into cynics and defeatists because of revisionist hypocrisies. Thirdly, a genuine communist party must practice sincere self-criticism, so that workers can learn from mistakes in practice and in past policies. The PLA, however, practices no sincere self-criticism and admits to no mistakes at all. The PLA allied itself with the Chinese revisionists and did not break with them until the CPC had become completely and thoroughly discredited. And finally the PLA has been guided by nationalism in its practice as well as defending it in its two-stage theory of revolution.
We cannot regard the PLA as a genuine Marxist-Leninist Party.
For a socialist state of the dictatorship of the proletariat to exist, the state apparatus must be in the hands of the proletariat and led by a genuine M-L party. This doesn’t mean that every time a M-L party pursues a wrong line, the socialist nature of the state is immediately destroyed. No communist party has or can function without making mistakes, even serious mistakes. However, the party must have close relations with the working class, openly admit its mistakes, and have an open relationship of mutual struggle to secure the revolution and advance the class struggle. This means that under socialism there must not only be the consistent practice of self-criticism by the leadership, but public criticism of the leadership by the rank and file of the working class. The working class must exercise control over the party and not the party over the working class. This means that leadership of the state must be directly dominated and elected and must be subject to recall by the masses. Leadership should enjoy no special privileges but must live on an equal level with the masses of the working class. Ideological struggles on matters of policy and principle must be debated publicly with the participation of the masses in the process. Marx first enunciated these principles. Analysis of the efforts by the Bolsheviks and the CPC to preserve the dictatorship of the proletariat without sticking to these principles shows that they are essential.
To the best of our knowledge the PLA does not function with this kind of revolutionary confidence in the masses. They maintain their positions of power by wiping out internal opposition and by cultivating a personality cult of Enver Hoxha. Surely working class power does not require that the same leader remain as an infallible authority until he is dead! Such practices make a mockery out of the proletarian dictatorship, which in essence is and must be a thousand times more democratic than any bourgeois dictatorship.
As long as the PLA was in a close alliance with the revisionist CPC it was relatively easy to consider them in the same garbage bag as their ally. Now however, many revolutionaries around the world are taking a new look at the PLA. We must not ignore their interest in this development. We must study the internal class struggle in Albania in much greater depth.
At the International Workshop of the Fourth Convention of PLP we discussed this question and adopted the following resolution:
In effect the old international communist movement is dead as a force for revolution. It has become a force for counter-revolution. The failure of revolutionary workers to recognize this reality prevents them from objectively analyzing the positive and negative features of the old communist movement, drawing correct lessons and laying the foundations for a NEW international communist movement. When we speak of the international communist movement we must define which movement we are referring to. The Convention resolution refers to the old communist movement out of which the Progressive Labor Party was born. PLP represents the seeds of the future NEW international communist movement.
Those revolutionaries who look to the PLA, the “Gang of Four” and other so-called “left opposition” forces to modern revisionism are in effect looking to revive the corpse of the old international communist movement. We must break the umbilical cord once and for all. The Albanian Party of Labor belongs to the past. We should not link the future of PLP with it.
When PLP first emerged out of the old communist party of the U.S., there was a small faction that refused to conduct struggle against the old CP revisionists because their ties to old friends and old ideas ran too deep. “Well-meaning” but essentially revisionist “old-timers” had to be swept aside so that new communist forces for revolutionary change would emerge in the leadership of PLP. It was only those cadres who linked the future of PLP with new developing revolutionary workers and students that prevented PLP from degenerating into another revisionist group. It was those cadres who broke with their revisionist heritage, and learned from the historical experiences of the old communist movement, that helped develop PLP as a new revolutionary vanguard of the working class.
Center forces are those numerous small groups of rank-and-file revolutionary workers and students around the world who genuinely are struggling for revolutionary change, but are still greatly influenced by old “communist” (really revisionist) ideas and practices. They oppose modern revisionists, trotskyites, Soviet and Chinese renegades, but they have not yet been won to the line of PLP on a number of vital questions.
We must not adopt a narrow sectarian position that the only genuine forces for revolution are in PLP. Such a position is not only sectarian, but absurd. There are millions of honest revolutionary workers and students around the world. In the absence of a strong authoritative center of communist leadership, as the convention resolution indicates, deviations from a correct M-L line (which always occur from time to time) are even now more likely to flourish. We must not ignore the contradiction between the revolutionary aspirations of millions of rank-and-file communist workers and students with counter-revolutionary revisionist leaders.
The task of the left is to strengthen its revolutionary mass base in the working class, armed forces, and students. Without the left having a strong independent mass base, honest center forces who vacillate between left and right will tend to generally veer to the right. The left does not refuse the support of center forces. We struggle to win such support. However, we must never surrender our struggle for leadership in the mass movement for the sake of unity with center forces against the right. Such “united fronts” have meant that the left has surrendered its political line and program, set aside the struggle for socialist revolution for the sake of some immediate issue. This has become a touchstone of revisionism, in theory and in practice. As PLP has pointed out in the past, the left must lead the U.F. and this must be a united front from below! This lesson cannot be repeated too often for all of us.
Millions of workers, peasants, soldiers, and students throughout the world hate the capitalist system. This is also true in the U.S., particularly in the most exploited and oppressed sections of the working class. As U.S. imperialism declines and economic crisis develops, as inter-imperialist rivalries sharpen, as the danger of war and fascism becomes more imminent, bourgeois democratic trappings will evaporate, war on U.S. soil will become a reality and an inevitable revolutionary crisis will arise. The next quarter century will be unlike any other since the rise of world capitalism. Disciplined revolutionary communist parties around the world with a correct communist strategy for the dictatorship of the proletariat and a mass revolutionary base in the working class can lead the working class to a global communist victory. The key to this victory is the development of revolutionary communist cadres who place the interests of the international working class as the primary aspect of their lives. Only those who dare to bring communist ideas to the masses, dare to lead the masses in protracted class battles and educate and organize them for revolution, not reform, can win.