Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Ivo Banac

Re-Reassessments: Domestic Capitalism

Published: The Stanford Daily, Volume 156, Issue 47, 4 December 1969. 
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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(Second of Two Parts)

The Progressive Labor Party, the SDS Worker-Student Alliance caucus and other progressive forces believe that masses of Black and white workers in this country can be won to socialist ideas and to internationalism. We view the current nationalist epidemic as a setback. However, we do not propose to remain isolated from the nationalist movement.

There is a great deal of talk about united front against imperialism at Stanford. Unfortunately, because of the opportunist influence of the Bay Area “Revolutionary” Union, united front is understood as “all unity and no struggle.” Marxists have a duty to preserve their independent position within the united front. They of course “unite with” nationalist and other forces against imperialism. But to stop here is wrong. They must also “struggle against” nationalism and other bourgeois ideology within the same united front.

We do not criticize the Vietnamese Lao Dong (Workers) Party leadership in southern Vietnam because it has entered the united front with domestic capitalists. We criticize it because it has consistently refused to simultaneously “struggle against” these forces. Not to unmask the domestic capitalists for what they are, not to struggle to win masses to socialism is to mislead the people.

Needless to say our attitude has nothing in common with the position of the French “Communist” Party or the Algerian war, a case which Mr. Andre dished up in order to “prove” that PL has an identical outlook on Vietnam. To say that PL has an identical position in Vietnam as the French CP had on Algeria is to say that PL supports U.S. aggression in Vietnam. This of course, is sheer slander. Not even our most vociferous “critics” can claim that without blushing. PL was the first group to advance the slogan “U.S. Get Out of Vietnam, Now!” at the same time when the social-democratic SDS leadership, then headed by Clark Kissinger, still bellowed “Part of the Way with LBJ.” PL has participated in and given leadership to the ghetto rebellions (Harlem and Watts) and most of the major campus struggles (Columbia, SF State, Harvard). It has consistently agitated against imperialism in the working class.

I certainly hope that these remarks of mine will spark some sorely needed discussion which became impossible during the Oct. 27 panel, due to Mr. Rappaport's clowning.

(Ivo Banac is a graduate student in History and a member of the SDS Worker-Student Alliance caucus.)