Written: September 7, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Patrick Muldowney, Anita Hood and Paul Saba
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1. The Red Eureka Movement reaffirms the following policies adopted at our first general meeting in April and in the letter to the CC CPA(ML) and statement of May 29: “we must unite and not split. The overwhelming majority of party members and supporters are good, honest revolutionaries whether they agree with us or not. The revisionists aim for a split in order to prevent the contradictions being resolved and to keep a majority of good people on their side. Even if we have become a majority instead of a minority we should still aim to unite instead of splitting and to just isolate and expel a tiny handful.”
“It is still too early to be drawing final conclusions about the role of individuals.”
“We must assume that a large number, quite likely a large majority of good people will not break with revisionism as quickly as we have. At all costs we must keep up connections with such people despite the revisionistsí efforts to poison the atmosphere. As things develop the real situation will become much clearer and many more people will be prepared to make the break then. Rational argument has convinced a surprising number of people but even when we are able to begin circulating closely argued polemics it can only affect some. Experience will teach the rest.”
“We must avoid all disputes over side issues and personal clashes etc, while striving to strengthen unity with all those who disagree with us, including those who behave very badly in doing so, except for the very tiny handful of definite enemies.”
“As for rumour-mongers and other people who make serious mistakes, this must be treated as due to the influence of revisionism and misplaced loyalty to revisionists in the party leadership. Our aim is not to expose the rotten behaviour of the people concerned (even when it amounts to enemy activity) but to get them to stop doing it. Such people may only be relatively good or even in he much smaller number of those who make “serious mistakes”. But nobody who has not been definitely proved an enemy should be treated as such and even those who are should be given a chance to reform. “Enemy” does not mean someone who just follows the revisionist line and actively opposes us. It means hard core, dyed-in-the-wool rotten revisionist ratfink.
“Overall, the main danger is from the right. Situations may arise where we are too conservative in fighting revisionism due to fear etc. and the main danger would be from the right internally as well. At present however we are boldly breaking with the revisionists and internally the main problems are on the left. In this situation there is a real danger of ultra-leftism. We must resist all tendencies to rush ahead leaving behind all those who could be united with, or to broaden the scope of attack.”
“We are not forming a new Party, but trying to avoid a split in the present one.
“Party leaders have explicitly called on those in opposition to “go your own way”, “form your own Party” and “shout it from the rooftops”. We will not do that. Those who say this should realise that the Party is not their property, any more than it is ours. It belongs to the Australian working class. If these people want to go their own way, or form their own Party that is up to them. They have already been doing too much shouting from the roof-tops.
We realise that this letter can be used by those who seem bent on a split, as a justification for provoking one. This is the main reason we have not taken this step earlier. We cannot prevent Vanguard saying what it likes, but for our part we are bending over backwards to avoid being provoked and will continue to do so.”
There will be great confusion and turmoil here as there was in China (during the Cultural Revolution). At first the rebels will be in a minority. But, “Going against the tide is a Marxist-Leninist principle.” There is nothing to be afraid of.
“All sorts of groups will appear with different views, both good and bad. In the long run however, it will make the Communist Party Australia (ML) a stronger and more united party.”
“The two line struggle is to assist (the revolution). Any actions that hinder it should be opposed. At all times we should strive to unite all forces that can be united and oppose all unprincipled actions and personal disputes even under the greatest provocation.”
“We will unite with anybody who will fight against imperialism and for building a new Australia, irrespective of differences on any concrete questions.”
The above principles are based on Mao Tsetung’s statement: “Practice Marxism and not revisionism; unite and don’t split; be open and above board and don’t intrigue and conspire.”
Adherence to these principles is not just a propaganda point to score off our opponents who so obviously act exactly the opposite. It is a fundamental question of principle that will help determine what kind of Communist movement gets built in Australia.
We don’t want a movement of narrow minded sectarians who all toe the line under fear of ostracism. We don’t want a movement of “correct liners”, so superior that they can’t even listen to what others are saying. We don’t want to end up like our opponents. We want a movement of conscious fighters who really understand what they are fighting for and inspire others to fight along side them. We have to recognize not only that people who disagree with us are not all bad, but also that they can sometimes be right, and we can sometimes be wrong. We have to fight this two line struggle the way that Mao Tsetung fought, which is quite different from the way revisionists and Trotskyites fight, and does not rest on splittist arrogance.
This struggle is not a game in which we show how “correct” we are, make flambouyant gestures, win international “recognition” and so on. It is a fight to unite all forces that can be united against the newest revisionism and lead the Australian revolution to victory.
2. Proposals to establish an Organisation for Independence and Socialism as an alternative to AIM [Australian Independence Movement – EROL] with a better platform run directly counter to these principles and we censure those members of the Executive who adopted this policy.
Whatever pious declarations are made, it is perfectly obvious that setting up such on organisation must unnecessarily deepen the split and cut us off from people we want to work with. It will not solve the problem of mobilising the broader masses and getting out to circles that cannot be reached by either AIM or an OIS.
We should continue working through AIM, demonstrating a better line than the revisionists in practice, and resolutely struggling to implement that line. We should do this in a way that unites AIM, and does not disrupt it. Where revisionist obstruction makes it impossible to do something through AIM we should do it through the group of anti-imperialists which should remain as an informal caucus in AIM and in each group within AIM.
At the same time, work outside AIM should be developed, but not by simply establishing a new and smaller left bloc.
3. The attitudes of some comrades have persistently vacillated, away from our line and towards an ultra-left and splittist line.
Instead of resolutely carrying out the unanimously agreed policy or openly proposing changes to it, these comrades have slipped into the attitude of formally agreeing while actually going their own way.
They are really of the opinion that most of those who disagree with us are “dickheads” or “deadshits” and that there is little point in having anything further to do with them. Hence they avoid carrying out our decisions to talk directly and in a friendly way to as many people as possible, and prefer to take the easy way out of avoiding ideological struggle and forming a sectarian group. They are also of the opinion that those comrades who firmly uphold our policy to “unite and don’t split” are a bit “soft” on the revisionists, or a bit naive and so on.
Since they cannot refute the arguments against them, they have tended to fall into a pattern of denying that they want to deepen the split, but always bringing up “new” proposals that are bound to have this effect, on some pretext or other. Egging each other on to whip up an atmosphere, these comrades have managed to convince themselves that they, and not the unanimous decisions of our general meetings, represent the real views of the Red Eureka movement, and that those who disagree with them are an isolated minority. Even when their proposals are rejected, and they agree that they ought to be rejected, an atmosphere is created that there is a pressure to move us in this direction, and the question is always left open for next time, so that an eventual capitulation, like that of the Executive in regard to the Organization for Independence and Socialism, becomes inevitable.
This interference has on the one hand already alienated potential supporters and on the other hand, diverted energies of both supporters and opponents of the ultra-left to internal problems instead of uniting to overthrow revisionism!
Accordingly we demand that this time these comrades not only agree again to support our line but that they capitulate completely and fold up their ultra-leftism and put it away. We expect these comrades to sincerely study this resolution and to become models in uniting with those who disagree with us, not wiping people off, and taking a scientific approach to the struggle in everything they write, say and do.
Further “pressure” will not be tolerated. These issues are not to be raised again unless a formal decision is taken to reopen discussion.
4. Those comrades who made public statements that they could not work in AIM are directed to make public self-criticisms and to make personal explanations of their wrong attitudes to those concerned. The same goes for those comrades who have taken part in “covering up” for such gossip.
5. We state our differences sharply and openly because this is the way to unity. Liberalism and bureaucratic covering over of political questions are the methods of our opponents. Democratic centralism depends on this kind of internal struggle being carried out properly.
This resolution is binding on all members. Copies are to be given to other comrades in the group of anti-imperialists and its content is to be explained to the meeting at which the proposal to establish an Organisation for Independence and Socialism is to be put. Open explanations of policy are a hallmark of Marxist-Leninists while our opponents prefer to keep their policies obscure and engage in manipulation.