Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Milt Rosen

Letter To Canadian Comrades


First Published: Marxist-Leninist Quarterly, [journal of the U.S. Progressive Labor Movement], Vol. 2, No. 2, n.d. [1964]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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July 18, 1964

Dear Comrades,

Members and friends of the Progressive Labor Movement have received with great enthusiasm the news that comrades in Canada are proceeding to build a Marxist-Leninist Movement. Revolutionaries in the United States decided three years ago to break from the revisionist grip of the CPUSA. We recognized that the revisionists were in complete contradiction to the aspirations of the United States workers. The revisionists, in collaboration with U.S. imperialism, were snuffing out the life of the revolutionary movement in our country. For communists to remain tied to the carcass of opportunism would also have placed them in contradiction to the American workers and workers all over the world.

United States revolutionaries recognized that U.S. imperialism was the main enemy of the people of the United States and the people of the world. We felt that as American workers and intellectuals we had a particular responsibility for unmasking U.S. imperialism and pursuing the difficult task of destroying it as a political and economic system. It is our belief that so long as U. S. imperialism remains a viable system, the people of the world will have to smash it in order to live in peace and freedom. We recognize, in the final analysis, only a Marxist-Leninist party can help lead the workers to the victory of socialism; that only a revolutionary party will provide the perspective for state power in the hands of the working class; that only a party led by and composed of dedicated communists can achieve a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Millions of workers, students and intellectuals are coming into sharper struggle with U.S. imperialism. Slowly but surely they are coming to learn that their needs will never be achieved under capitalism. As their efforts mount, they are met with terror by the ruling class. From Alabama to New York, our black citizens are met with clubs and guns and the army, the police, and the jailers. In Hazard, Kentucky, thousands of miners fighting for jobs and union conditions, were met with the full fury of the state. Unemployment and speed-up, coupled with union-busting are becoming the daily experience for millions of workers. Eighty thousand rail workers’ jobs have just been wiped out by the ruling class. The President, the courts and Congress all collaborated to eliminate these workers, many of whom have 40 years seniority.

The so-called “American Century” – with its anti-communist crusade – is becoming a nightmare for millions of Americans. In order to fasten this “holy crusade” on the workers, the ruling class passed and utilized a whole series of repressive legislation. People are beginning to see more clearly that U.S. imperialism is interested in only one thing – maximum profits. That the eight billion dollar arms budget is not there to protect the people from the so-called “menace from the socialist world,” but to enslave the entire world and tie it to the U.S. ruling class profit drive. Millions of Americans recognize that the U. S. war of genocide in south Vietnam is not protecting their interests. There is growing uneasiness among our people that U. S. rulers may step up the war and go for all of Southeast Asia, resulting in tremendous losses of life.

Tens of millions around the world are seeing quite clearly what U. S. “democracy and freedom” means for them. They are reacting vigorously from one end of the world to the other. Millions of workers and oppressed people are engaged in revolutionary struggles to free themselves from imperialism and its stooges.

In most cases they are met with the armed forces of the U.S. imperialists. U.S. armed forces dot the world, but armed U.S. intervention – or intervention of any kind – will not stop the people. They want to be free – and they will be free! No threats or nuclear intimidation will stop them. U.S. revolutionaries have prime responsibilities to these people. Their success weakens the grip of the imperialists on all peoples. Revolutionaries in the U.S. consider themselves part of the world-wide anti-imperialist front. We therefore consider it a prime task of all revolutionaries to immediately call for and launch activities demanding that the U.S. get out of south Vietnam now and to oppose with all possible vigor the escalation of the war in Southeast Asia; to expose the lies of U.S. imperialism about the intervention of north Vietnam in the war in the south and in Laos.

We recognize how our brothers in Canada suffer from the exploitation of U.S. imperialism. U.S. imperialism controls the bulk of the Canadian economy. U.S. labor fakers – agents of imperialism – control to a great extent Canadian unions. U.S. imperialism has converted Canada to a super-colony. Canadian workers will never be free so long as U.S. imperialism dominates the affairs of their country. Canadian workers and U.S. workers face the same enemy – U.S. imperialism. In many respects therefore, our struggles can be joint ones. Whatever success Canadian workers have in smashing U.S. imperialism and their Canadian vassals is welcomed by U.S. workers. Whatever success U.S. workers have in smashing U.S. rulers can only aid the development of revolution in Canada.

Revisionists around the world, especially the Khrushchev leadership in the Soviet Union, try to peddle the notion that some U.S. imperialists are sober and reasonable – that there are good imperialists.

Based on fear of U.S. imperialism and ideological corruption, these opportunists attempt to cover up for imperialism; attempt to lull the workers vigil; stiffle revolutionary activity and create the basis for imperialist take-overs of areas of the world previously freed through revolution. Revisionists are attempting to split the international communist movement based on ideas which were defeated long ago by Lenin and others. The revisionist, like their ideological mentors, the imperialists, single out revolutionary forces as the main enemy. In doing this they show their true allegiance, and expose their reactionary nature.

Based on developments in the world, especially the success of revolutionary movements, the continued unmasking of the so-called “responsible” imperialists and the decisive ideological struggle conducted by the Chinese Communist Party and others, the revisionist position is crumbling. Marxist-Leninists have picked up the banners of revolution almost everywhere. Marxism-Leninism will triumph over corrupt revisionism, precisely because the people of the world, including the American, will never knuckle under to reaction.

Despite temporary weakening in sections of the international movement, the international movement is growing in political maturity and understanding. Many comrades who have faltered will find the way back to a revolutionary outlook. Most important tens of thousands of new revolutionaries will find their way into the movement based on action and ideological development.

Despite bellicosity and acts of ruthlessness, U.S. imperialism is scared. They are in mortal fear of the people of the world. They are afraid of the workers, students and intellectuals in their own country. More and more they are unable to preserve their thin veneer of “democracy” and are being forced, by people’s actions to open ruthlessness. This is not a sign of strength. However, united revolutionary action, which is world-wide in character, will defeat U.S. imperialism. The ideological defeat of revisionism will ensure this development. This is why the imperialists fawn over revisionists, curry favor with them and throw them tidbits, etc.

The development of a significant united North American Marxist-Leninist movement would be a frightening development for imperialism and their stooge revisionists. Already in the U.S. Progressive Labor has been singled out as the main political enemy of imperialism. Some of our members are under indictment, many have been called before investigating committees, all are subject to various forms of police harrassment and the PLM receives the vilest slander in the revisionist and capitalist press. Only recently our comrades in Buffalo, together with other militant democratic forces, smashed the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, and sent it scurrying. Three years ago we started as a mere handfull of people. While we are still a small ago we started as a mere handfull of people. While we are still small today, we have grown to a national movement and have recruited hundreds of young militant forces around the country. We are respected by our friends and hated by our enemies. We feel that by pursuing a revolutionary program we can grow and develop right in the heartland of imperialism. Our members and leaders are undergoing intensive Marxist-Leninist education coupled with vigorous activity. We believe that working together with other revolutionary forces and learning from them, as well as utilizing our own experiences, can help us avoid right and left errors of a serious nature. We find an ever growing response to our ideas and activities from sections of the U.S. people.

We place our reliance on the U. S. workers not on the “sober” sections of the imperialists. U.S. workers, together with other workers, will triumph over imperialism. All workers can live in peace only when U.S. imperialism is smashed. U.S. workers will establish socialism in the U.S. of America. American workers will play a vital role in stopping U. S. aggression all over the world. U. S. workers will have a vanguard party.

Once again we in the U.S. wish our Canadian comrades every success in defeating revisionism and establishing a vanguard party in Canada. We pledge every ounce of assistance in helping that to happen. Your gains are our victories.

We take this opportunity to invite all Canadian comrades to attend the launching of a revolutionary party in the U.S. in November 1964 in New York City.

With comradely greetings,
Milton Rosen Chairman, PLM