Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

P.L.P. Third Convention

From the Third convention of the PLP held July 13-15 [1973] in N.Y.C.

John Harris

Closing Remarks

I think in the last few days, here in New York, we have done something that has never been done in the world. We have put our party, the Canadian Party of Labour, and the Liga Socialista on record as being in the forefront of the fight against revisionism, for socialism, the fight for communism, the fight for unity, the fight against racism, here in this country, in Canada, in Puerto Rico, and all over the world. We’ve done that here this afternoon, and we’ve done that this weekend. In workshop after workshop, we have affirmed and reaffirmed that we can build a mass anti-racist, anti-revisionist party here In the United States and all over the world. The first step in doing this is the debates that have gone on in the workshops, the resolutions that we have passed, the ideas that we have discussed, the things that we have mandated to the new National Committee, the differences that we have with each other that will be spelled out, that will be resolved, the agreement that we have, the differences that we have discussed internationally. We’ve discussed nationalism, internationalism, male chauvinism and the worker-student alliance. We’ve discussed the need to fight racism in the hospitals, in the schools, around the Boston School Committee. We’ve discussed all of these things and come up with a fighting affirmation that we can build a mass party. We’ve given the ruling class notice that we in the Progressive Labor Party have reaffirmed our commitment to doing this.

I would like to point out that in my life, my 29 years, this has been one of the most, if not the most, inspiring thing that I have ever witnessed. This is no joke. I think that I have learned this weekend that the fight for socialism is a life and death fight. This is the thing that Milt spoke about when he came around to the various areas. This is what we have been discussing in San Francisco and on the West Coast, that it is truly a life and death fight. In the workshop that I was in on racism, we discussed how racism hurts white workers. We discussed how racism hurts those of us in the workshop.

We discussed how in Queens, New York the housing white workers live in costs more. Racism is why people pay three hundred dollars for substandard housing. We’ve learned that the fight against racism is a life and death fight. Minority workers are making less and white workers a little bit more, but everyone should be making a lot more. When we don’t unite and criticize ourselves and criticize our comrades in other countries who are trying to fight against nationalism and fight for socialism, then none of us will have socialism, none of us will have internationalism, then we will all lose. But together we all win – we’ve learned that here this weekend here in New York.

And probably the most important thing we have learned is that we, as individuals, as communists, as members of the Progressive Labor Party, are going to have a long, tough fight. We are going to have the ups and downs that Derek spoke about. That life inside of the PLP is not going to be easy. That life on the National Committee is not going to be easy. That life in the club in Berkeley California is not going to be easy. There are going to be ups and downs in the auto work in Detroit. The hospitals workers in 1199 are going to be called upon time after time to fight the revisionists in the leadership. We are going to be called upon in Boston to fight the racism of the ruling class connected with the Boston School Committee. Time and time again we are going to realize that in order to build a mass party, we are going to be faced with a constant struggle for courage, the struggle to say that “I am going to go out and set up a table” – “It doesn’t matter if I am going to be criticized, for calling Golda Meir a Nazi, I am going to go out and sell Challenge on this campus” – “I am going to organize a teach-in” – “I am going to fight racism in this class, because Banfield’s ideas kill people” – that no matter what obstacles we are faced with we will overcome those obstacles because we have the greatest weapon that ever existed for the working class, and that is the weapon of Marxism-Leninism.

The leadership of our party and the membership of our party has refined that weapon, defined more these tools, has defined more these lessons we can learn from the great Marxist-Leninists of history: Marx, Lenin, Stalin and others. We are willing to carry on those struggles and learn from the great lessons that the great teachers of Marxism have given to us. Road to Revolution III is an inspiration to all workers, to all students, all over the country. Road to Revolution III will build a mass movement against revisionism and for revolution in Angola. Road to Revolution III, an inspiration of our party, will build a mass party in Toronto and all over Canada. The ideas of RR III will build a mass party in the West Coast. The ideas of RR III will lead a general strike in Puerto Rico, for socialism, if not now, then later. This will be led by the Liga Socialista and other revolutionary forces in Puerto Rico. The ideas of RR III are living. The ideas of RR III are here at this convention and have been ignited more and more, the flame is growing, the flame is spreading all over the country. We are carrying that flame and we are going to carry this torch back to Chicago, back to the West Coast. And we are going to spread these ideas because these are ideas that we live for, these are ideas that we fight for, and if need be die for. More importantly, these are ideas that we will use to defeat our enemies, whatever way it takes. These are ideas that will raise future generations of Marxist-Leninists, future generations of people that will live a decent life.

We have a lot of history to tell people. This happened this weekend at the Riverside Plaza. We are in history. People who weren’t here can listen to the tapes, and read the resolutions, but they have missed one of the greatest things that has ever happened to mankind. Those who weren’t here cannot witness, cannot understand what has happened. We are fortunate. Each one of us should be ready to raise money, to carry these ideas out, because it is going to be tough.

But on the other hand, we have history – we are on the right side of objective struggle. We are on the right side of the class struggle – therefore we will win. That’s the only reason we will win, because history is on our side. We have Marxism-Leninism. We have RR III. And most importantly of all, we have the Progressive Labor Party.