Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Black Workers Congress

The Struggle Against Revisionism and Opportunism: Against the Communist League and the Revolutionary Union

CL AND THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION: (A Critique of two articles: “International Report – May Day 1974” And ”Class Struggle In the USSR” – June, 1974 People’s Tribune)

This particular section of our presentation will deal with CL’s stand on the world situation outlined in the May 1974 “Report On The International Situation” and the article entitled: “Class Struggle In The USSR”, in the June Issue of the People’s Tribune. We will examine CL’s line on the international situation in general and on the question of the class nature of the Soviet Union in particular and we will prove on the basis of this analysis that the main thrust of CL’s line goes against the Marxist method of analysis (like their “Dialectics”), is diametrically oppose to the correct Marxist-Leninist line and is a conciliation with Soviet social-imperialism.

What are the main points of controversy? First let us hear from the CL in their “International Report”:

1) “..Marx liberated mankind’s mind from such subjective and shallow historical, populist conceptions as the struggle between the rich and the poor, between the big and the small, between the advanced and the backward, etc... (p.l)
2) “...First of all, there has always been imperialism of one type or another since the exploitation of man by man occurred. There was the Roman type of imperialism. This was characterized by the imposition or taxes and the capture of slaves for the Roman rulers. As the feudal system arose, the imperialism of that time was exemplified by expansion of state boundaries and the gathering in of huge amounts of surplus labor time from the toilers on the land. The next stage of imperialism was the imperialism of the RISING capitalist class. This was known as mercantile imperialism and was characterized by the conquest or weaker and backward peoples and by using these backward people as a source of raw material and as a dumping ground for finished commodities. This was known as the colonial system...Thus we see that the colonialism which belonged to the era of mercantile capitalism is no longer possible. Today, even in the most backward areas of Oceanea, capitalist production and exchange are now deeply rooted and consequently, the colonial question is transformed into, the national-colonial question with the proletarian revolution the next step on the historical agenda. (p.10)
3) “There is a concept arising today that we are in a new era, an era of the sundering of the world into three separate worlds – or as some are now proposing four worlds. (p.10)
4) “Another aspect of this struggle is what should be the Communists attitude toward the national interest of the oppressed peoples. Should the leading factor be to support the national interest, which can only be bourgeois interests, or should the leading factor be proletarian international interests? It is clear that it is impossible to unite the various national interests against imperialism.”(p.11)
5) “...It is clear that such terms as superpowers are perfectly acceptable to the USNA rulers because it tends to shield the class character of the most ruthless imperialism the world has ever known. (p.11)
6) “..Thus we are not dealing so much with superpowers as we are with gigantic imperialist states – states that have a greater capacity to revolutionize the means of production, greater human resources and hence insatiable need to expand a constantly restricted market. It is not so much that we are dealing with superpowers as the fact that we are dealing with highly concentrated imperialism.” (p.11)
7) “By the same token, no matter what the contradictions are between the imperialists, they cannot help but constitute a bloc. Their vital interests even in time of war compel them to unite against socialism...
8) “...History shows us that it is incorrect to assume that the struggle that is going on is for the control of Europe. It is for the control of the colonies that is represented by the control of Europe. (p.11)
9) “A year ago the entire “left” was projecting that the USNA imperialists were heading for their immediate doom. This line spread from Gus Hall’s “Lame Duck in Troubled Waters” to the rantings of the “New Left”. A concrete analysis by the leadership of the Communist League disclosed that far from entering into its immediate doom, USNA imperialism was expanding its hegemony and tightening its grip on the dependent areas of the world. (pp. 11 and 12)
10) “However, today everyone must admit that the situation between the USSR and China, which is growing daily more dangerous, made it possible for the USNA imperialists to consolidate. And consolidate they have. It is not that the imperialists have been able to create situations that are favorable to them. But the situations that occur in the course of the struggle are more easily turned to serve the imperialists because of their hegemony. The situation in the Near East certainly, proves this point. However, it should be kept in mind that a good part of the ability of the imperialists to secure their hegemony has been the persuance of an incorrect line on the part of some revolutionaries! (p. 12)
11) “We must be careful to see that while USNA imperialism is consolidating its position, it is also moving into a crisis. THIS CRISIS IS THE RESULT OP THE REAL SOLID VICTORY OF USNA IMPERIALISM. In this crisis we are bound to see the formation of blocs against the victor, development of a trade war (Italy has already imposed a tariff) to protect the national industry, and finally, an inevitable war of redivision of the world market. (p.12)

So there you have it. On at least eleven points the CL line is diametrically opposed to the line put forward by the Chinese, Albanians, and the rest of the anti-revisionist Communist movement. Let us examine this anti-Marxist hodgepodge.

CL sets the stage as usual with another “famous statement” of Marx: “Marx liberated mankind’s mind from such shallow, historical, populist conceptions as the struggle between the rich and the poor, between the big and the small, between the advanced and the backward, etc...” (p.l) CL is trying to invoke Marx’s ’authority here to use it later on in their attack on the term “superpower” and the line of the Chinese and Albanians. And, as usual, they give no reference as to where Marx said this or in what context he was speaking. After Marx’s “famous statement on dialectics” can we believe them now?

Then they say that “there has always been imperialism”. In the technical sense of the term ”imperialism” (derived from the Greek imperiale, meaning a policy of territorial expansion) this is true. But those various types of “imperialism” existed in. different epochs. Lenin said:

Colonial policy and imperialism existed before this latest stage of capitalism, and even before capitalism. Some, founded on slavery, pursued a colonial policy and practised imperialism. BUT “GENERAL” DIQUISITIONS ON IMPERIALISM, WHICH IGNORE, OR PUT INTO THE BACKGROUND, THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIAL-ECONOMICS SYSTEMS inevitably degenerate into the most VAPID BANALITY OR BRAGGING... (p.97 Imperialism The Highest Stage Of Capitalism)

CL has once again “lift up a rock only to drop it on their own feet”. CL continues to violate the fundamental dialectical principle of the particularity of contradiction when, they blur over distinctions between different social systems. This is no accident as you will see in the section on the national question. In there, the CL asserts that slavery was Capitalist-Slavery in the Black Belt.

But even more fundamental CL believes that the position of U.S. imperialism in the world is excellent – that it has scored a “real solid victory” rather then simply achieving a temporary reversal:

1) a decline marked by its defeat in Indochina
2) by the crumbling of the international monetary system based on the supremacy of the U.S. dollar
3) by the increasing challenge posed to the U.S. by Japanese and European capital in the field of capital export, in addition to commodity exports (the only figures the CL cites, and again, we don’t know where these “figures” came from for they are not footnoted, are simply trade figures), and,
4) by the persistent “stagflation” and declining profitability of the U.S. economy.

Secondly, according to the CL the main reason U.S. imperialism has been able to pull off this feat has been the “situation between the USSR and China” in the first instance, and, more generally, “the persuance of an incorrect line on the part of some revolutionaries”. Although the “International Report” only speaks about nuclear attack by the USSR – which is a real enough danger, but narrows down the military possibilities in a manner of the Khrushchev capitulationist line of “what good are principles, If you are a radioactive cinder” – it is fairly common knowledge that the USSR has around a million troops deployed along the Chinese border as well.

At the same time, however, according to CL, U.S. imperialism has re-emerged as the number one enemy of the peoples of the world, if it wasn’t the unchallenged contender all along. Who is to blame? Perhaps the Chinese leadership who over the past few years have pointed to Soviet social-imperialism as an imperialist power on the rise, one which poses even greater dangers to the people of the world since it is still able to use the red banner of socialism and proletarian internationalism as a fig leaf?

In response to the Soviet aggression on her borders and the “Centrists” who hint that China is perhaps the one who should cool things out with the Soviets, Chou En-lai took the following position:

Must China give away all the territory north of the Great Wall to the Soviet revisionists in order to show that we favour relaxation of world tension and are willing to improve Sino-Soviet relations? The Chinese people are not to be deceived or cowed. The Sino-Soviet controversy on matters of principle should not hinder the normalization of relations between the two states on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The Sino-Soviet boundary question should be settled peacefully through negotiations free from any threat. “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counter-attack” – this is our consistent principle. And we mean what we say. (The 10th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Documents, Peking p.27)

But this is not enough for CL because our “advanced theoreticians” have made their “concrete analysis” which they run down like this:

A concrete analysis by the leadership of the Communist League disclosed that far from entering its immediate doom, USNA imperialism was expanding its hegemony and tightening its grip on the dependent areas of the world....

We outlined that the conditions for this development were the China-Soviet conflict and the serious problem that China faces in defending herself against a nuclear pre-emptive assault by the Soviets. Of course, this is more of a political problem than a military one. All political problems involve a certain amount of compromise. Comrade Chou En-lai made this clear in his report to the Tenth Party Congress and also made it clear that such compromise did not and could not signify a change in the principled stand of the Chinese Party. Quoting Lenin, Comrade Chou said ’One must learn to distinguish between a man who gave the bandits money and firearms in order to lessen the damage they can do and facilitate their capture and execution and a man who gives bandits money and firearms in order to share in the loot.’

However, today everyone must admit that the situation between the USSR and China, which is growing daily more dangerous, made it possible for the USNA imperialists to consolidate. And consolidate they have. It is not that the imperialists have been able to create situations that are favorable to them. But the situations that occur in the course of the struggle are more easily turned to serve the imperialists because of their hegemony. The situation in the Near East certainly proves this point. However, it should be kept in mind that a good part of the ability of the imperialists to secure their hegemony has been the persuance of an incorrect line on the part of some revolutionaries. (People’s Tribune 5/74 p.12)

It appears that what CL is suggesting by reproducing Chou En-lai’s quotation from Lenin is that in fact the Chinese comrades, through their policy of standing firm in the face of Soviet aggression and blackmail, and of relative relaxation towards the U.S., have actually given the U.S. “bandits” the money and firearms they needed to capture an increasing share of the world’s loot – markets, political hegemony, etc. And if that is really the case, wouldn’t a policy of consistent proletarian internationalism call for making concessions to the enemy of the greatest enemy? On the question of Sino-Soviet relations, we can see that CL unites with the position pushed by the “anti-revisionist” conciliators of social-imperialism.

But, some comrades may want to argue here, perhaps what CL suggests is correct, and the Chinese comrades have miscalculated the relative danger posed by each of the superpowers. We can only answer that basically what we are dealing with is a question of class stand and not the balance of power, and this has always been the position of the Chinese and Albanian comrades:

Some say that what is meant (by unity of action) is not ideological unity on the basis of the general line, but unity of action for Individual problems of world politics such as the question of Vietnam, the security of Europe and Asia, the Middle East, disarmament, etc. And this can be achieved, allegedly, despite the existence of disagreements which have to do with ideological questions and the ideological line. The partisans of this viewpoint often refer to Lenin, who, in his time, expressed himself in support of undertaking joint action on an international plane even with various opportunist trends.

To put the problem forward in this way, means to put it forwards in a completely metaphysical manner, without keeping in mind the time and conditions, without making a concrete analysis of present day revisionism, the head of which, the Soviet Union has itself been changed into a social-fascism and social-imperialism, oppresses, exploits and enslaves peoples of various countries and strives for hegemony, spheres of influence and domination in the world. There is no concrete question, no problem of special event which can be taken up separate from the general political course of the Soviet revisionist leadership.... To put forward and to accept unity of action with Soviet revisionism in such conditions would mean to forget its class essence, to adopt an opportunist stand, to come to its aid precisely at a time when it finds itself in great difficulties caused by internal, external factors, and when more than ever before, it has a need for such aid. To accept unity of action with the revisionists today means to betray the interests of socialism, of the world proletarian revolution, of the oppressed peoples....

Today it is impossible to fight with success against U.S. imperialism and to carry forward the cause of socialism and proletarian revolution and the liberation of peoples, without exposing, fighting, and destroying revisionism and Its “anti-imperialist” demagogy. Therefore the Marxist-Leninists are guided by the principle, no ”unity of action” with the modern revisionists, the offspring and close ally of Imperialism, but battle to the end to expose their true features, to bring to light all the baseness of their policy.... “About Some Actual Problems of the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism by Fiqret Shehu in The National Conference of Social Studies: Some Questions of Socialist Construction in Albania and of the Struggle Against Revisionism, Tirana, 1971, pp. 173-5 – future references given as SQSC)

CL of course will reject any suggestion that they are calling for unity of action with the social-imperialists. And one must give them credit for putting forth their call in extremely veiled terms. CL is, however, quite clear about one force in the world with which one absolutely not unite, under the pain of “politically decapitating the working class.” And that force is the national bourgeoisie of the nations oppressed and exploited by the imperialists.

In the “International Report”, CL asks:

What should be the Communist’s attitude toward the national interest of the oppressed peoples? Should the leading factor be to support the national interests, which can only be bourgeois interests, or should the leading factor be proletarian international interests? It is clear that it is in-possible to unite the various national interests against imperialism. The nature of national interests compel the various bourgeois leaders to rely on imperialism in one degree or another. But, in fact, the national interests can only be defended from the standpoint of making the international interests of the proletariat the leading factor. (People’s Tribune 5/74, p. 11)

This passage is not quite as cleverly constructed as the ones we have cited above on the Sino-Soviet dispute. It is probably not intended to be, either. What is coming under attack here is one of the main thrusts of China’s current foreign policy: the encouragement of the formation of blocs of raw-material producing nations to put the screws on the imperialists, a policy that was put forward by Vice-Premier Teng Hsiao-ping at the recent U.N. Special Session (Peking Review 16 of this year). According to CL, “the compromising national bourgeoisie” are incapable of uniting with each other to defend their own interests against even the grossest forms of imperialist exploitation. But if we skip over to the third column on the same page where we saw this quote, we find out that certain other bourgeois forces are very capable of uniting to defend their interests – the imperialist powers:

By the same token, no matter what the contradictions are between the imperialists, they cannot help but constitute a bloc. Their vital interests even in time of war compel them to unite against socialism. This accounts for the anti-Soviet attitude of the imperialists toward the USSR while they jointly fought Hitler, and it accounts for the rapid rearming of Adenauer’s Germany at the close of the war.

Most interesting. CL’s examples are rather weak. Does this compelling need to unite against “the spectre of communism” serve to explain why Lenin was able to conclude a separate peace with German imperialism at Brest-Litovsk? Or why Stalin was able to first conclude a non-aggression pact with Hitler, and then, after Nazi attack, to ally with the imperialist “democracies” against the axis powers? Lenin had to overcome the fears of his comrades that all the imperialists would take a break from fighting each other after Brest-Litovsk and unite temporarily to crush revolutionary Russia, and he did it by pointing out that Marxist political economy, the study of the laws of motion of capital, reveals one very fundamental and profound truth: capital cannot unite. This is why the Chinese comrades point out today that “contention is absolute and protracted, whereas collusion is relative and temporary” between imperialist powers. And it is also why the bourgeoisies of the oppressed and dependent nations are forced into conflict with imperialism.

Waving the red flag of the necessity for proletarian leadership in the national liberation movement, CL tells us that:

Opposing the earth shaking, revolutionary upsurge of the national colonial movements – ignited by the imperialist defeat in Korea – has been an increasingly reactionary, revisionist current that separates the national liberation movements from the proletarian revolution and hence supports the reactionary bloc of compromising bourgeoisie in the colonies and semi-colonies. Comrade Enver Hoxha makes this clear: ’Traitors to Marxism-Leninism, agents of imperialism and intriguers like Josif Broz Tito, try in a thousand ways, by hatching up diabolical schemes like the creation of a third force, to mislead these people, and the newly-set up states, to detach them from their natural allies, to hitch them up to U.S. imperialism. We should exert all our efforts to defeat the schemes of those lackeys of imperialism.’ This reactionary current was first stated by Tito. But as the center of counter-revolution shifted to Moscow, this support of the compromising national bourgeoisie became the main calling card of Khruschev & Co.

This current which persists in spite of the overthrow of state after state, separates the workers in the dependent countries and helps to bloc them from achieving hegemony in the struggle. (People’s Tribune 5/74)

But we must state straight up that CL is waving the red flag to oppose the red flag here. The separation of the national liberation struggle from proletarian revolution, the absolutizing of the national aspect and the support thereby of the bourgeoisie all of these accusations come from the arsenal of the modern revisionists, and were hurled at the Chinese and Albanian comrades during the great polemics of the mid-60s. Check out More on the Differences between Comrade Togliatti and Ourselves. Check out A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, and especially Apologists of Neo-Colonialism, all by the Chinese comrades. The later text contains some excerpts from the “Open Letter of July 14, 1963 from the Central Committee of the CPSU” which we think are worth reproducing: The letter accuses the Chinese Communist Party of putting forward a “new theory”: “...according to which the chief contradiction of our time is not, we are told, between socialism and imperialism, but between the national liberation movement and imperialism. In the Chinese comrades’ opinion, the decisive force in the battle against imperialism is not the socialist world system and the international working class struggle but, again we are told the national liberation movement.” (Apologists of Neo-Colonialism, Polemic On The General Line of the International Communist Movement, Peking ed. 1965, p.201– future references will be given as Polemic)

It goes on to say:

The Chinese comrades want to ’correct’ Lenin and prove that hegemony in the world struggle against imperialism should not go to the working class, but to the petty bourgeoisie or to the national bourgeoisie, even to ’certain patriotically-minded kings, princes and aristocrats’. (ibid, p.203-4)

Further on, the CPSU says that the “new theory” of the Chinese Communist Party will have the effect of “isolating the national-liberation movement from the international working class and its creation, the socialist world system.” (Ibid, p.206). WHAT A STRANGELY FAMILIAR RING THESE WORDS HAVE! As CL itself points out: “as the class struggle for the hegemony of the world proletariat becomes more and more intense, the maneuvers of the revisionists become more difficult to unearth and refute.” (People’s Tribune, 5/74, p.1O)

Comrades, check out CL’s critique of such “anti-Marxist and unscientific” not to speak of “subjective and shallow”, a-historical, populist conceptions as the “struggle between the rich and the poor, between the big and the small, between the advanced and the backward” (ibid,p.1) Someone else has said something quite similar very recently – Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko, who speaking at the same U.N. special session stated that the Soviet Union will never accept “the false concept of dividing the world into ’poor’ and ’rich’ countries.” (Peking Review #18, 1974) Now who else, besides the CL attacks the concept of “superpowers” as unscientific? The imperialists and social-imperialists!

As for the quotation from Enver Hoxha about Tito’s attempt to create a “third camp” of newly independent nations detached from their natural allies, the socialist countries, it is an open invitation to equate Tito’s “third force” with the Chinese use of the term: “Third World” and to conclude that Chinese foreign policy also OBJECTIVELY SERVES THE INTEREST OF U.S. IMPERIALISM.

It is certainly true that the Soviet Union has been the true bastion of support for corrupt national bourgeois regimes in such countries as India and Egypt, and that their ideological hacks have cooked up the “theory” of “non-capitalist” road – a theory which has as its cornerstone alliance with the so-called “socialist” (social-imperialist) camp. But if we are to draw the proper inference from the May Day “International Report” the “increasingly reactionary and revisionist current” has moved on from Belgrade and Moscow to Peking and Tirana. We should not be fooled by the fact that CL will attack Khruschev and Co. to put out the same garbage they have been trying to peddle. This is a device to lull the wary. In the course of our examination of the “Class Struggle in the USSR” we shall see this “technique” used many times.

“Class Struggle in the USSR” begins with the statement that an important aspect of the “polarization” of the revolutionary movement is the question of the Soviet Union. It continues with the following criticism:

In years gone by, the attitude was to give some very simple answers to some very complex questions. This attitude of simplicity (for example, the USSR is a capitalist country) does not allow us to correctly unite with the revolutionaries of the USSR, nor does it allow us to correctly struggle against the bourgeois imperialist elements who hold state power. (People’s Tribune 6/74, p.4)

This raises a number of questions:

1. If it is simple-minded to say that the Soviet Union is a capitalist country – a charge which is repeated on page 12, in one of CL’s typical exercises in the “dialectic”:

One of the extremely harmful tendencies inherited from the period of the victory of revisionism and the rise of the anti-communist “new left” is the tendency to see events only in their polarity and disregard the struggle between the poles which condition the polarity, as well as, determine their relations. Therefore as regards the Soviet Union, there are the childish expressions that the USSR is either “socialist” or “capitalist” without ever taking time to study the forms that the class struggle takes.

– then what kind of socio-economic formation is it?

What does it mean then to say that “bourgeois imperialist elements... hold state power.” – that these forces are only bourgeois and imperialist in their ideology? Revisionism, is of course, bourgeois ideology within the socialist movement. But imperialism, as Lenin took such great pains to point out in his struggles with the revisionists of his day, the great “orthodox Marxist” Kautsky at their head, is not a phenomenon that occurs in the superstructure, it is not a policy. Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, a stage that is characterised not only by a striving after annexation and plunder (the sort of loose definition that enables CL to talk about Roman and mercantilist imperialism in the “International Report”), but by: a) the predominance of monopolies in economic life b) the merger of bank and Industrial capital into “finance capital”, c) the export of capital d) the formation of international trusts and cartels which divide the world market and e) the completion of the territorial division of the world by the capitalist great powers. It is embarrassing to have to give this sort of elementary lesson to our “advanced theoreticians” (see Ibid. p. 13 !), but it is evidently necessary. Does CL think that social-imperialism is essentially a policy?

2. Just who are these simple-minded, childish forces who say the Soviet Union is straight-up capitalist? And,

3. Who are the revolutionary forces in the USSR with whom we must unite, and what is required for a correct struggle against the social-imperialists? And we might add, just who are the social-imperialists anyway? How did they seize state power?


We will start with our second question. We know of course who says that the USSR is still the beacon of socialism in the world: the Soviet government and Party and their camp followers in so-called communist parties around the world. Clearly revisionist forces. And who goes around saying that capitalism has been restored in the USSR? Who is ignorant of the dialectics of the class struggle? CL replies that it is that worrisome, anti-communist new left, forces like the RU, OL, the Guardian and assorted bourgeois nationalists.

Now there is a certain tradition in communist polemics of initially holding back from naming individuals and or parties coming under fire, particularly when the polemic is comradely – intended to rectify and not wreck through exposure. For example, the Chinese comrades’ first public polemics against Khrushchevite revisionism were not directly aimed at Nikita him self or the CPSU, but were addressed to functionaries of European CPs who followed the Soviet baton: France’s Thorez and Italy’s Togliatti, (And, we should note, these public polemics were preceeded by several years of struggle in “private” within the councils of the international communist movement). But we find ourselves compelled to question just why CL tries to hide the real objects of their criticism and contempt – the Chinese Communist Party and the Albanian Party of Labor behind the skimpy skirts of Bob Avakian, Mike Klonsky and Irwin Silber. We would like to think that perhaps modesty is the reason. But it is not. On page 12 of the USSR article, we read that “Our Communist League has set itself the most difficult and drawn out task of organizing the proletariat of this country for the overthrowal of capitalism and the establishment of socialism.” Hey, whatever happened to the rest of us North American Marxist-Leninists who were supposed to be uniting to build a multi-national communist party?! And on page 13, after stating that ”the key to the class struggle in the USSR is the isolation of the Brezhnev gang in the international communist movement,” they continue:

We have a gigantic role to play in this isolation. It can only be played by an organization of advanced theoreticians, an organization that makes the exposure and isolation of their “own” revisionists their central task. It is precisely because the situation in the USSR is building toward a climax that the Communist League must not follow the path of seeing the worrisome “new left” as the main revisionist danger, but carry out their international duties to the Soviet people.

Clearly, it is not modesty that holds back CL’s pen. What is it?

We think that there are two reasons they don’t come out front with direct criticism of the Chinese and Albanian Parties. And both of them have absolutely nothing to do with the conduct of polemics between fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations.

CL’s first reason for not openly attacking the CCP and PLA can be found sandwiched in between the snide put-down of Peking’s 1974 May Day – “the most passive May Day in history” – and the hypocritical paragraph praising the CCP and its leadership at the end of the “International Report”. Bemoaning the absence of fiery speeches at the Chinese May Day, the CL speaker tells us that “this is an indication of the bitter political struggle that is going on within the working class and inside the Communist Parties. I am sure that this placid May Day is only the calm before the storm.” It appears that CL has fallen prey to speculating upon factions within the leading Party in the international communist movement a characteristic weakness of American communists, according to Stalin.

With regard to the CPSU the CL has also shown circumspection – individuals in leadership are attacked, but the Party itself is almost never mentioned, even in the article on “Class Struggle in the USSR.” This is very strange, considering the fact that CL is adamant on the need to “isolate and expose the CPUSA within the working class movement” and to replace it with a new, genuine Marxist-Leninist Party. And surely one of the main problems with the CPUSA is that it follows the lead of the arch-revisionists in the CPSU, pushes the Soviet Union as a shining model of socialism holding up Soviet aggression, oppression and exploitation of the peoples of the world as expressions of the purest proletarian internationalism and fraternal aid.

Well, maybe it isn’t quite so strange. After CL had modestly taken upon itself the task of organizing the proletariat to overthrow US imperialism, they went on to explain that “the cornerstone of such a task is the unity of the socialist camp.” (People’s Tribune 6/74 p. 12) We have seen what position the Chinese and Albanians take on “unity of the proletariat.” They say that the international proletariat has been split by the emergence of modern revisionism, and will be united only by the total defeat of same. They quote Lenin: “Unity is a great issue and a major slogan. But the cause of the workers demands unity of Marxists not unity of Marxists with opponents and those who distort Marxism”(PLA, p. 337) And as for “defense of the socialist camp,” the Chinese say straight up that “As a result of the emergence of social-imperialism, the socialist camp which existed for a time after World War II is no longer in existence.” (Peking Review 76, p. 6). China, Albania, North Vietnam and North Korea cannot be said to constitute a cohesive bloc economically or even politically. So who is CL talking about building unity with and defending? The CPSU, the Soviet social-imperialists, and the compradore bourgeoisie of the former People’s Democracies.

And here again, just as CL justifies its attack on the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties by hinting darkly of “bitter political struggle going on within them”, it justifies its silent recognition of the CPSU as a genuine Communist Party by hinting at all sorts of “sharpening contradictions within the imperialist clique.” And since CL does not acknowledge that capitalist restoration has been completed in the USSR, they suggest that social-imperialism, unlike the un-hyphenated variety is just a vicious policy which can be reversed by a change in personnel. DUMP BREZHNEV, STEM THE CAPITALIST TIDE! THROW THE BUM OUT! CALL FOR NEW ELECTIONS TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE! Just who are the simple-minded new-leftists? What forces are CL speculating on?

Unfortunately, we will have more to add on this topic further on.

There is a second reason why CL hesitates to openly attack China and Albania. CL’s leadership knows that it can pick up some quick and easy brownie points in certain circles by attacking (or seeming to attack) the RU et al. But if they come out and directly attack the Chinese and Albania line, CL will be isolated just as quickly and easily within those same circles (which they need to build their Party). So they are forced to play it cool.

Let’s review their method, which we analysed in the “International Report”. The goal is to get over a critique of the Chinese line on the international situation (and of the Albanian line as well – see the 1965 article “Revolutionary Marxism-Leninism Will Triumph in a Europe Pregnant with Revisionism”, PLA, pp. 343-388 but especially pp. 365-374 and the speech delivered by the Albanian Foreign Minister at the U.N. Special Session in Peking Review, no. 17, 1974) – a critique which matches the Soviet distortions and slanders against that line almost word for word. And how do they do it? By saying that it is really the Soviet revisionists, whom we all just love to hate, who are putting out that line and then attacking it. If any momentary doubts are aroused (“Hey, didn’t I read something like that in Peking Review last week ...?”), a quick jab at the Soviet revisionists will put our little minds to rest. We accept the critique at face value, and its poison has entered our system. It is really quite clever in its way, but not quite Marxist-Leninist...

Evidently, our “advanced theoreticians” believe that they can speculate on our appalling ignorance of Marxist-Leninist theory and of the great struggles that have been waged in the communist movement against psuedo-Marxist swindlers like Trotsky, Khruschev, Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao, in order to pass off sham Marxism-Leninism as the genuine article and paint the genuine upholders of Marxist-Leninist theory and practice – our Chinese and Albania comrades – as simple-minded childish anti-communists and/or revisionists. If we fail to study and let ourselves be taken in by this sort of thing, we will richly deserve the contempt that the CL so obviously has for us.


How is it possible for a socialist country, a country where the proletariat had seized state power under the leadership of their vanguard party, to revert to capitalism? Let us compare how CL answers this question with the position put forward by the Chinese and Albanian comrades (In this presentation we will mainly be citing Albanian texts since they deal with both the domestic economy of the USSR and certain political questions such as the degeneration of the CPSU, in more detail than the Chinese materials available in English. We want to stress the fundamental unity of the Chinese and Albanian analysis on the restoration of capitalism in the USSR in the face of CL’s tendency to play off Albania against China, and their attempt to reject the fundamental features of this analysis by claiming that it was the work of Lin Piao etc. We will also be referring to some of our own research on the topic.).

The answer to this question ultimately lies in the fact that socialism does not drop from the sky. It comes into being through revolution within capitalist society, and as Marx wrote in the Critique of the Gotha Programme, “is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with birth marks of the old society.”

Furthermore, socialist countries do not exist in a vacuum, but in a world in which imperialism still dominates. For a long time the Communist movement thought that the main danger of capitalist restoration lay in the violent overthrow of the proletarian state by foreign imperialists in alliance with the deposed old exploiting classes. History shows that there is nothing naive about this view. However, the experience of the USSR shows that capitalism’s world predominance generates strong ideological and economic pressure on socialism from without, which can bring about “peaceful bourgeois-revisionist degeneration” within a socialist country. (See Foto Cami, “The Further Revolutionization of the Life of the Country and Some Questions of the Theory and Practice of Socialism,” SQSC, pp. 104-5)

CL’s presentation of the question is completely silent about the question of outside pressures, Presumably, the “socialist camp” exists under a bell jar. And their treatment of the question of the “birth marks of the old society,” which they correctly make the focus of their examination, is curious to say the least.

CL appears to unite with the Chinese and the Albanians in saying that in the Soviet Union counter-revolution triumphed through seizing control of the superstructure, state and “cultural” apparatus: “The real turning point in the USSR was Krushchev’s doing away with the dictatorship of the proletariat and substituting for it the ’state of the whole people.’ Of course, this meant the dictatorship of this privileged bourgeoisiefied strata that had existed since the birth of the USSR, but which lay dormant under the heavy hand of Stalin.

The Soviet state is an imperialist state. The imperialists hold state power and are rapidly and aggressively attacking the socialist relations of production. (People’s Tribune 6/74, p. 1)

All well and good. However, the heart of their analysis is actually radically different from the Chinese/Albanian account. And when we examine it carefully, as we did CL’s treatment of the national liberation movements, we find ghosts and monsters hiding beneath the quotes from the classics and the “dialectical” phraseology. Let’s turn to the beginning of their article on “Class Struggle in the USSR,” People’s Tribune 6/74, p. 4. How does CL approach the question of the superstructure? With their usual profound dialectical method:

We can see that we can fundamentally divide the superstructure into its dialectical entities, both the objective and subjective parts. The objective part of the superstructure is consciously developed by the victorious class after a battle; that fundamentally is the State. The State is represented by a constitution and the necessary laws to define that constitution, and the military and police apparatus, prisons, etc., which enforce those laws. This conscious element is constructed to safe guard and develop the productive relations which are the basis of the specific society. Alongside of the conscious aspect of the superstructure, there arises a reflection of the subconscious class struggle – art, literature, political forms, etc. What we want to emphasize is that the subconscious element arises on the basis of the established productive relations, and over a period of time tends to reflect and coincide with those relations of production.(emphasis added)

This passage is written in the most general terms, and we must give CL the benefit of the doubt that they are not talking about dictatorship of the proletariat. However, even taking that into consideration, we must point out that their definition of the so-called “conscious element,” the State, slurs over the fundamental Marxist-Leninist definition of the state: “the state is an organ of class rule, an organ for the oppression of one class by another, it is the creation of ’order’ which legalizes and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the conflict between the classes.” All states exist to deal primarily with the class contradictions arising out of the productive relations, and not with the development of the productive relations themselves as CL’s definition would indicate. And we know that the incorrect treatment of the question of the State is one of the warning signals of revisionism.

What specific things does CL have to say about dictatorship of the proletariat in this article?

At the time of the socialist revolution and the development of the dictatorship of the proletariat, relationships between people for the first time are stood on their feet. During all previous historical epochs the base arose, at least in part, under the superstructure of the class about to be overthrown. But the dictatorship of the proletariat leaps into existence without any base whatsoever. In fact, the main task of the superstructure – that is, the dictatorship of the proletariat, Is to form the base for it to develop on.(emphasis ours)

There is so much that is incorrect in this paragraph that it is hard to know where to begin in criticising it. First, there is a certain deliberate (?)– ambiguity in the way CL uses the word “base.” Marxist-Leninists understand that the economic base of any given socioeconomic formation has two aspects: the forces of production and the relations of production. Which does CL mean? Capitalist relations of production, manufacture, etc., already existed within the pores of the old society, before the bourgeois revolution overthrew the feudal ruling classes. Now one certainly cannot talk about socialist relations of production existing under capitalism, not even under state monopoly capitalism, where a certain amount of “planning” – but capitalist planning – exists and many of the key sectors of the economy are nationalized. But just where does CL get off claiming that “the dictatorship of the proletariat leaps into existence without any base whatsoever”? This is pure idealism, the very language employed to get the idea over reeks of it. No, comrades, there is a base the dictatorship of the proletariat under capitalism – large scale socialized production, which both develops the productive forces to the extent that a society which Is not based upon the exploitation of man by man becomes a real possibility and not a Utopian dream, and brings into being and tempers the class which will establish that society. It appears that we must teach our “advanced theoreticians” another lesson on the ABC’s of Marxism: the fundamental contradiction of capitalist society is between the social nature of production and the private mode of appropriation. It Is certainly true that one of the main tasks of the proletarian dictatorship is to foster the development of socialist relations of production, but as with any state the main functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat are repressive: on the political level they involve the suppression of the capitalist class, and on the economic level they involve the suppression of capital, as a social relation of production.

In fact, we are convinced that this paragraph speculates with the double meaning of “base” in order to get over the rotten revisionist, productive forces theory that was pushed by the Soviets, Liu Shao-Chi, and Lin Piao. To quote a recent Albanian article, “Falsifications and Theoretical Speculations” (Albania Today, No. 12 (5) Sept./Oct. 1973, p. 30:

The origin of all the revisionist distortions of socialism and their main theoretical backing is the old vulgar theory of the productive forces...In their opinion, socialism has not and will never have its own material and technical base, at any stage of its development. This means that, having an inadequate material and technical base, socialism is characterized by profound contradictions between the advanced political power and the relations of production which forge ahead, and the productive forces which lag behind for a long time.

The main function of this theory is to obscure the fact that the principal contradiction throughout the historical period of the dictatorship of the proletariat remains the contradiction between bourgeoisie and proletariat, to lull the class and its instruments of dictatorship into economism. CL’s version is simply a little more Sophisticated, since they quickly reintroduce the concept of “relations” to cover their tracks:

So we can see that no anti-socialist ideas can arise out of the dictatorship of the proletariat precisely because, in the early stages, there is no base for these ideas to arise from. On the contrary, the reactionary forms of political activity are all hangovers of capitalism and do not arise on the basis of socialist relations. In fact, the more the socialist relations are formed, the more the state – the objective aspect of the superstructure tends to wither.

However, when we compare this with the famous statement by Chairman Mao:

Socialist society covers a considerably long historical period. In the historical period of socialism, there are still classes, class contradictions and class struggle, there Is the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road, and there is the danger of capitalist restoration. Our instruments of dictatorship must be strengthened, not weakened.

The fact that CL is putting out a line in fundamental opposition to that held by the Chinese and Albanians, and in fundamental (if disguised) unity with the line held by the Soviet revisionists, by Liu Shao-Chi and by Lin Piao, all of whom CL pretends to attack, becomes quite clear.

The same combination of economism and of the “purest” idealism is even more sharply revealed on p. 12, where CL writes:

Lenin very well understood that the danger of the restoration of capitalism was a very real possibility and a very grave danger – a danger that could be overcome only with the development of the socialist man. In this sense Lenin wrote, ’without all-sided state accounting and control of production and distribution of goods, the power of the toilers, the freedom of the toilers, cannot be maintained and a return to the yoke of capitalism is inevitable’.

We agree that socialist planning is an absolute necessity. But “all-sided state accounting and control” is not sufficient to effect the passage from what Marx described as the “lower stage of communism” (socialism), in which society still bears the birthmarks of capitalism, to the higher stage, communism itself. Again CL quotes Lenin, but then omits reams of Lenin on the same subject. The classics of Marxism describe what must occur during that transition in fairly concrete terms: the “narrow horizon of bourgeois right” must be transcended (i.e. distribution must be according to need, not work and the state must wither away), there must be an abundance of material goods, the ages-old contradictions of class society – the contradiction between mental and manual labor, and between town and country – must be resolved, and classes themselves must disappear. Like any radical rupture with tradition, these transformations can only be achieved through intense class struggle by the direct producers.

And since their presentation is so narrow we are suspicious of their taking up the task of the “socialist man”. That task has been taken up by petit-bourgeois revolutionaries like the late Che Guevara, by Trotskyite intellectuals like the late Isaac Deutcher, and by hidden Confucians and Soviet agents like the late Lin Piao. We should remember that during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Lin Piao raised the slogan of “fight bourgeois self” in a vain attempt to divert the attention of the masses from concrete struggles against bourgeois ideology which’, were beginning to unfold against education which divorced theory from practice, and which glorified the old exploiting classes, and especially against bureaucratic methods of management which suppressed the initative of the workers. And let’s not forget Liu Shao-Chi’s manual for self-cultivation, How To Be A Good Communist, either!

The position of genuine Marxist-Leninists on what it takes to prevent the restoration of capitalism is quite clear. Contradictions In socialist society can only be resolved through repeated cultural revolutions, “political revolution carried out under the conditions of socialism by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat...” (Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party, 10th Party Congress Documents, P. 62) And the basis for capitalist restoration will not be removed until communism has achieved victory on a world scale.

We find it curious that CL, after calling the “childish new left” to task for not “taking time to study the forms that the class struggle takes” completely omits any mention of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in its discussion of capitalist restoration. Perhaps they do not consider it an important historical experience.


What was the social base for capitalist restoration in the USSR? CL answers this question by a string of quotations from Lenin dealing with 1) the spontaneous generation of capitalism and capitalists on the basis of petty commodity production in the countryside; 2) with the fact that the new Soviet government was forced to bribe bourgeois and petit-bourgeois experts in the managerial, technical and educational fields into putting their services at the disposal of the State; and finally 3) with the fact that members of the former exploiting classes were lying low and often “disguising themselves by a ’Soviet’ protective covering.”

At the time of Lenin’s death these forces did indeed form the main potential base for capitalist restoration. But tremendous changes took place in the ensuing years. Agriculture was collectivized and the capitalist peasants, the Kulaks, were liquidated as a class. A “new Soviet intelligentsia” of worker and peasant class origin was trained, and largely replaced the old bourgeois experts. To the extent that they absorbed their teachers’ world outlook as well as expertise, aspired to the same life style and occupied the same place in a social division of labor inherited from capitalism, this “new Soviet intelligentsia” became a potential bourgeois force.

The most important change since Lenin’s death was the building up of a powerful industrial base and a system of state planning. The factories were run on the basis of one-man management, with the factory Party cell keeping a watchful eye open for any abuses; while over-all economic direction was provided by the central planning apparatus, also under strict Party control. Because of the objective place they occupy in production, the managers of the factories were another prime category for a new bourgeoisie. Since responsibility for implementing the Plan was often still in the hands of alien class elements, the planned production goals for each factory were elaborated down to the very last detail. This called for a tremendous inflation of the State’s economic apparatus: a vast bureaucracy controlling production, but separated from it, sprang up. This too was an Important potential base for capitalist restoration.

But because the means of production were nationalized and operated under centralized control, and because the Communist Party sets political and economic priorities and guides the work of the State apparatus, it was the high State and Party officials who were the best situated to restore capitalism, should they abandon their proletarian class stand and adopt a revisionist line. And according to the Chinese and Albanian comrades it was precisely this group of corrupt officials who peacefully overthrew proletarian rule and established themselves as a new bourgeoisie, based on their control over state property:

After the establishment of social ownership over the means of production, and after the liquidation of the exploiting classes as classes, the most dangerous internal enemy of the dictatorship of the proletariat is bureaucracy. It was precisely the bureaucracy and bureaucrats who undermined the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union. Engels, Lenin and Stalin have all spoken about the danger of bureaucracy, but despite this, this danger has never been appreciated and combated as it should have been. (The Further Revolutionization...SQSC p.119)

The Albanian Comrades have provided an excellent analysis of the process of ideological degeneration in the CPSU which all communists should study and take to heart in ”The Working Class in Revisionist Countries Must Take the Field and Re-Establish Dictatorship of the Proletariat” (PLA, pp. 391-431).

CL completely rejects this analysis. They try to discredit it by attributing it to Lin Piao (some of whose ideas, as we have seen are not quite so unappealing to them):

In the struggle against Soviet revisionism and social imperialism it is only natural that there should be reference made to the writings of Lenin to support one’s position. It is also only natural that the enemies of Marxism who have managed to nestle within Marxism should also find ways to utilize the writings of Lenin. Such a ploy was used by Lin Piao and is being used by those who yet support him today. One of his favorite quotes was, “Lenin also stated that ’the new bourgeoisie’ was arising from among our Soviet government employees ...” ... The Lin Piao gang and their henchmen refer to this quote over and over again to make it appear as if the capitalists arise out of the socialist bureaus. And since there can be no socialism without bureaucracy, then there can be no organization, socialist construction. This is akin to Trotsky’s infamous theory of “permanent revolution” – a stupid theory that states that since capitalism arises daily from the countryside, the new capitalists would constantly overthrow the proletarian dictatorship.

At the very worst, the bureaucracy is the condition for the development of capitalist commodity production and exchange, but in no way can provide such a base because the bureaucracy is an administrative body and not a productive process. (People’s Tribune 6/74, p. 12-emphasis added)

Again, it is hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the statement that “there can be no socialism without bureaucracy.” Compare that with what Lenin has to say about bureaucracy in his immortal State and Revolution (references to Peking FLP edition):

The bureaucracy and the standing army are a ’parasite’ on the body of bourgeois society–a parasite created by the internal antagonisms which rend society, but a parasite which ’chokes’ all its vital pores.(pp. 34)

Until the ’higher’ phase of communism arrives, the Socialists demand the strictest control by society and by the state of the measure of labor and the measure of consumption; but this control must start with the expropriation of the capitalist, with the establishment of workers’ control over the capitalists, and must be exercised not by a state of bureaucrats, but by a state of armed workers. (p.116)

and finally:

Proletarian democracy ... will take immediate steps to cut bureaucracy down to the roots, and which will be able to carry out these measures to the end, to the complete abolition of bureaucracy, to the introduction of complete democracy for the people. (p.132)

As for CL’s contention that “bureaucracy is the condition for the development of capitalist commodity production and exchange,” this is absolutely the reverse of the function served by the bureaucracy while the USSR was still a socialist country. The bureaucratic apparatus existed in fact to limit the operation of the capitalist law of value – which arises out of commodity production and exchange – and to regulate distribution of means of production and consumption without resorting to “exchange” between the productive units themselves or between them and marketing units, respectively.

As we have seen before, when CL openly attacks someone, watch out! They are probably trying to sneak their line across subliminally. This passage is no exception. Not only Lin Piao’s, but Trotsky’s bankrupt and counter-revolutionary line is lurking in “Class Struggle in the USSR.” Trotsky’s line on the Soviet Union, put forward in The Revolution Betrayed, was that even though Stalin and the CPSU had abandoned Marxism-Leninism and betrayed the revolution and the Soviet state had fallen into the hands of a thoroughly corrupt and parasitic bureaucracy, because the means of production were still nationalized and because an armed counter-revolution had not occurred, the Soviet Union was still socialist – a “degenerated worker’s state”, but a worker’s state none the less. In this work and in the deceptively titled In Defense of Marxism, Trotsky maintained precisely the same position as CL: that the bureaucracy cannot be considered as a capitalist class because it does not either directly relate to or juridically possess the means of production – “bureaucracy is an administrative body and not a productive process.”

In their phony attack on Trotskyism, CL distorts “the infamous so-called theory of permanent revolution.” In fact there is much more to it than pessimism about the establishment of socialism in one, primarily agricultural, country. In essence it is a theory which states that the proletariat has no need for allies, that it can and must go it alone in the struggle. And in fact CL puts forward this very line in the “International Report” when they write:

We take our stand with Lenin that whoever in the slightest way detracts from the struggle for the hegemony of the working class aides the bourgeoisie in its efforts to politically decapitate the working class.(People’s Tribune 5/74, p.10)

The second major aspect of the theory of permanent revolution is that stages can be skipped in making the revolution. This means that regardless of whether the immediate political tasks confronting the revolutionary movement are democratic or socialist, the proletariat should only fight for its own dictatorship. In the “International Report”, after rejecting the path of alliance with the national bourgeoisie as a blood-stained blind alley, CL says:

There is another path, the only real path, the path of carrying the revolution on to its conclusion, on to emancipation. This can only be accomplished by the overthrow of all imperialism and all capital, including the national capital. This is the experience of China, Albania, North Korea and North Vietnam. (Ibid., p.12)

As theory this is straight up Trotskyism. And as history it is a lie. The countries given as examples in fact all went through a two-stage revolution: a new democratic stage in which national capital was not completely overthrown, and then a socialist stage in which it was.

A final example of CL’s pushing the line of Trotskyism in opposition to the Marxist-Leninist line of the CCP and PLA on the question of capitalist restoration concerns just what forces exactly did carry out the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat and how they did it.

In his article ”The Further Revolutionization of the Life of the Country and Some Questions of the Theory and Practice of Socialism” Comrade Foto Cami gives a concise run-down of the main features of the revisionist counter-revolution in the USSR:

There are three special features which distinguish the revisionist counter-revolution from the counter-revolutions known up until today.

Differently from other counter-revolutions, it was not carried out by the old former ruling classes overthrown from the state power, but by a new bourgeois class, which was formed gradually in the conditions of socialism as a result of the bourgeois influence from inside and the pressure of imperialism from outside.

It did not begin from below but from above, from the leading cadres of the class which is in power, who degenerated into bourgeois elements and who, for the achievement of their purposes even used the Party in Power and the existing State.

It was not carried out by the,use of the armed force but was carried out in a peaceful, manner, disguised with socialist phraseology, gradually erroding from within the socialist system...

Whether or not we allow the peaceful revisionist counterrevolution to appear depends on us alone... The revisionist counter-revolution is not an objective law of the development of socialism because it does not stem from the nature of socialism Itself, as revolution stems from the very nature of capitalism. (SQSC, pp. 84-86)

Compare with CL’s account:

Describing the bourgeoisie that has usurped power by means of an armed coup d’etat as a “new bourgeoisie”, in the sense of arising on the basis of socialist productive relations in the USSR, is entirely incorrect. (People’s Tribune, 6/74 P.4 – emphasis added)

For obvious reasons, the modern revisionists(who spend so much time preaching about the possibility of a “peaceful transition to socialism” to the proletariat of the capitalist countries, and to the toiling masses of the nations oppressed by imperialism, consider a peaceful counter-revolution an impossibility. This is also the official line of Trotskyism, which insists on proof of an armed overthrow and dismantling of the apparatus of the workers’ state and of the re-establishment of individual ownership of the means of production, before it will consider the possibility that the USSR is no longer a degenerate workers’ state but is actually social-imperialist. The CL position represents the second line of defense for this bankruptcy. To those who believe, or are on the verge of believing that the working class is no longer in command in the USSR, CL will concede that which the revisionists and Trots refuse to concede – that dictatorship of the proletariat has been overthrown. But, it was overthrown by overt force and violence, by an armed coup d’etat. And thus the Trot/revisionist line sneaks in the back door once again.

This line was adhered to by yet another force dedicated to the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat and transforming the Party from the vanguard detachment of the class into a bastion of reaction: Lin Piao, the hidden agent of Soviet Social-Imperialism.

According to a letter from Chairman Mao to Comrade Chiang Ching, which was circulated in China during the initial stages of the public exposure of Lin Piao, Lin had worked out a whole “new” theory of history which he was pushing within the Party, a theory which substituted coups d’etat for class struggle as the motor of history, and the military for the masses as the makers of history. (He actually managed to smuggle this line into the editorial celebrating the Centennial of the Paris Commune, which perverted Chairman Mao’s dictum that “without a people’s army, the people have nothing” into a negation of the leading role of the Party of the proletariat, and he tried to put it into practice during the reconstitution of the CCP). The fact that Lin attempted to pull off a coup d’etat can be seen as proof that such things actually do happen. It can also be seen as proof that “Marxist-Leninists” who rely on such factors as coups in their interpretation of history are no Marxist-Leninists.

The actual history of the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat is extremely obscure and complex, and we cannot pretend that we know exactly how it came about. We will probably only know the facts after the Soviet working class rises up in a new October revolution. However, subtle but widespread political and ideological degeneration brought about by the pressures of the war and the postwar periods did set the stage for the capitalist roaders who had wormed their way into the Party and State apparatus to start sending up trial balloons for capitalist restoration in the late 1940’s.

Our research indicates that two anti-proletarian centers developed. One was headed by Khrushchev, the Party Secretary for the Ukraine. Until Stalin blew the whistle on him, Khruschev was pushing a line of capitalist restoration in the collective farm sector, breaking down socialized organization of labor and encouraging production for the market on the peasants’ private plots. Brezhnev was part of the Ukrainian political machine that Khrushchev had built up around himself. The other center was emerging in the state’s economic apparatus and the Leningrad Party organization, and was headed by N. Vozheshensky, head of the State Planning Bureau and a member of the CPSU’s Politburo. Vozheshensky called for a break with the practice of determining production plans by political rather than “economic” criteria – i.e. profitability and “efficiency” – and said that the law of value should determine the direction of the Soviet economy, not the line of the Party. He was shot, but his protege, Kosygin survived to become the chief architect of capitalist restoration in the USSR.

Stalin’s Economic Problems of Socialism reflects the ideological struggle unfolding against the capitalist line, and it is tempting to speculate what would have happened if Stalin’s death had not cut off this struggle, leaving most of the major capitalist roaders unexposed and unscathed. In the early 1950s through a complicated series of factional maneuvers, Khrushchev was able to break the power of the Security Forces, who were loyal to Stalin’s proletarian line, and eliminate his rivals, both honest and dishonest. By 1956 he had consolidated his position and line sufficiently to come out publically against the most fundamental theories and principles of Marxism-Leninism at the 20th Party Congress.

This attack took three forms. First the attack on Stalin. This was basically an attack on 30 years of proletarian rule, and served both to disorient honest cadre and to signal to the hidden revisionists and capitalist roaders in the USSR (and in other socialist countries and communist parties as well) that the time had come to crawl out of the woodwork. Second came the so-called, doctrine of the “Three Peacefuls”: peaceful coexistence, peaceful competition and peaceful transition to socialism. This struck at the heart of Marx and Lenin’s teachings on the necessity for violent overthrow of the state, about the inevitability of war under imperialism, and about basing the foreign policies of a socialist state on the principle of proletarian internationalism. What this doctrine meant in practice was the transformation of communist parties from revolutionary into reformist parties, the abandonment of the national liberation struggles, and a policy of collaboration with U.S. imperialism. The third aspect of the attack was the worst. This was Khrushchev’s theory that the Soviet Union was so far along towards communism that it no longer needed dictatorship of the proletariat, but a “State of the Whole People,” and that there was no longer any need for a vanguard Party of the proletariat, but for a “Party of the Whole People.” In addition to flying in the face of everything Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin ever had to say on these subjects, Khrushchev’s “creative developments of Marxism-Leninism” were an attempted cover and a real give away for the fact that the state had fallen into the hands of a minority of privileged bureaucrats and “experts,” and that the Party was revisionist to the core.

It was only after the 20th Party Congress that the remaining honest Bolsheviks, led by Molotov and Kaganovitch were able to mount an attack on his line within the Politburo, forcing Khrushchev to turn to Marshal Zhukov for support. An expanded meeting of the Politburo was held. According to some accounts, Zhukov actually threatened the meeting with armed intervention in support of Khrushchev, and according to others he merely arranged for military planes to fly in known revisionist forces in the Party to pack the meeting. At any rate, what is clear is that the role of the army was not decisive, while the failure of proletarian nerve, and the triumph of Khrushchev’s revisionist line among a majority of party leadership prior to the 20th. Party Congress was.

Again, we find it very curious that the CL, which has so very much to say about the leading role of the Party and the importance of guarding the purity of Marxist-Leninist theory and bringing it to the class in the abstract, has absolutely nothing to say about any of this in their discussion of restoration of capitalism and class struggle in the USSR. Perhaps the Party and theory only have a leading role to play before the seizure of state power? A few references to “revisionism” just will not cut it. We agree with the Chinese and Albanian comrades that the question of political line (that is, the concrete application of Marxism-Leninism) determines everything and that the Party is the key link in either moving forward to communism or backward to capitalism.


Has capitalism really been restored in the USSR? Yes, say the Chinese and Albanian comrades. Yes, but, says CL:

Is there capitalism in the USSR” Yes, there is, and plenty of it. The Soviet state is an imperialist state. The imperialists hold state power and are rapidly and aggressively attacking the socialist relations of production. In a sense of the word, the Soviet capitalists are faced with the problems of the capitalist of 500 years ago – that is – how to accumulate funds into the hands of a few and how to expropriate a freeholding producer and reduce him to the level of proletarian. This cannot be done simply by a law or by decree, but by theft, extortion and rip-off of the worst kind and by separating the producer from the means of production (People’s Tribune 6/74, p. 13)

This is pure nonsense. The Soviet capitalists are not back at square one. Socialism rests, we would like to remind our “advanced theoreticians” on social property of the means of production. By seizing the state and changing its class character from proletarian to bourgeois, the Soviet bourgeoisie found itself at one stroke the proud possessor of a very considerable industrial base, a nationalized banking system, and the most productive gold mines outside of South Africa. Clearly the main problem facing the new Soviet bourgeoisie is not the primary accumulation of funds! Nor is it diverting the wealth produced by the Soviet working class into their own lavish personal consumption by voting themselves larger salaries. Their fundamental problem is to transform these funds, these means of production into capital, to function as capitalists:

The expansion of value, becomes his subjective aim, and it is only in so far as the appropriation of ever more and more wealth in the abstract becomes the sole motive of his operations, that he functions as a capitalist, that is, as capital personified and endowed with consciousness and will. Use values must therefore never be looked upon as the real aim of the capitalist; neither must the profit on any single transaction. The restless never-ending process of profit-making alone is what he aims at. (Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Pt. II chapter iv, International 1967, p. 152-3)

And what does it mean for the means of production to function as capital For state funds to be employed as capital? Marx answers:

Thereby, that as an independent social power, i.e. as the power of a part of society, it preserves itself and multiplies by exchange with direct, living labour power.

The existence of a class which possesses nothing but the ability to work is a necessary presupposition of capital.

It is only the dominion of past, accumulated, materialised labour over immediate living labour that stamps the accumulated labour with the character of capital.

Capital does not consist In the fact that accumulated labour serves living labour as a means for new production. It consists in the fact that living labour serves accumlated labour as the means of preserving and multiplying its exchange value. (Karl Marx, Wage Labour and Capital, International, 1933, p.30)

CL is thus quite correct when they say that the Soviet working class must be effectively separated from the means of production, so that they are once again “a class which possesses nothing but the ability to work.” But the Soviet worker in no way ressembles the isolated “freeholding producer” of 500 years ago who can only be separated from his means of production through extreme violence, precisely because the means of production are so puny. In the USSR capitalism began, and socialist construction completed the transformation of the means of production into gigantic, truly social instruments, which the worker can master only collectively, both in the process of production itself and in the form of social property. Thus, the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat already means that the worker has been separated from the means of production, since it is through his “ownership” of the state that the worker owns and controls the means of production, particularly in the earlier stages of socialist development, when the social division of labor inherited from capitalism still is in force. CL obscures this fact because to acknowledge it would mean saying that there is not simply “plenty of” capitalism in the Soviet Union, but that the Soviet Union has a capitalist mode of production. And we intend to show on the basis of facts conveniently ignored by CL in this article – that the Soviet bourgeoisie has not only formally (through the seizure of state power) but practically transformed the Soviet working class into a class of wage slaves.

CL devotes almost a full page to facts which illustrate the social imperialists’ offensive against the socialist relations of production.

These relations of production would appear to have as their major content strict state accounting and control of production and distribution, the centralization of funds, and the subordination of the factories to the state. Thus, the picture CL paints of capitalist restoration revolves around the weakening of centralized planning, the substitution of a single index – profit – for a host of centrally planned production directives and the retention of profit by the enterprise, to be used for the payment of bonuses to management and workers, and the weakening of state control over collectivized agriculture through the abolition of the Machine Tractor Station network. In discussing the Transportation experiment, they show how the enterprises were able to retain the bulk of the profits. Thus, it would appear that the real beneficiaries of the so-called reforms are the factory managers, and that they and not the state functionaries are the real capitalists, and that the Soviet Union is moving in the direction of classical “free enterprise.”

This of course tends to contradict the Chinese and Albanian emphasis on State capitalism and a State bourgeoisie:

It is known that the material base of the socialist order consists of social ownership of the means of production. but today in the Soviet Union the social ownership – despite the efforts of the Soviet revisionists to preserve its external socialist appearance, in essence, in its real content, has lost its socialist character, has been changed into State capitalist property of a special type.

Naturally it would be naive if we were to seek to find the degeneration of the Soviet socialist social property into a capitalist property in the form of classical private property at a time when in the present conditions of large-scale production, even in the other imperialist countries, state monopoly capitalism is being developed through the extension of State ownership.

Since capitalist property in the Soviet Union is born and created as the result of the degeneration of the social state property, it cannot present itself except in the form of state property. (Fiqret Shehu, “About Some Actual Problems of the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism, pp. 155-56)

Perhaps the contradiction will become apparent if we point out that almost all of CL’s examples are taken from the 1956-64 period, a period in which the social-imperialists were eager to consolidate a wide capitalist base, and even more eager to wreck socialism. This period was characterized by a degree and a variety of economic decentralization that has not been equaled since in the Soviet economy.

In 1965, CL’s cut off point, Premier Alexei Kosygin announced a sweeping economic “reform” which marks the real consolidation of specifically capitalist relations of production in the USSR. In introducing this reform, which decisively put profit in command, Kosygin defined the “main problem” of the Soviet economy:

raising the efficiency of social production as much as possible, saving live and materialized labor, and considerably and steadily increasing returns from capital investments and fixed assets. (On Improving Industrial Management, Perfecting: Planning, and Enhancing Economic Incentives in Industrial Production. In Problems of Economics Vol. VII, No. 6 p.5 – to be given as Kosygin).

Compare this with Stalin’s statement of the basic law of socialism from his Economic Problems of Socialism:

“The securing of the maximum satisfaction of the constantly rising material and cultural requirements of the whole of society through the continuous expansion and perfection of socialist production on the basis of higher techniques. (Peking FLP, pp.40-41)

and we can see what is a gulf between the world outlooks expressed. (We can also see that there is more to socialist relations of production than strict state accounting and control!)

Although the Kosygin reform made profit the main planned index, it also strengthened the system of state planning that Khrushchev had decentralized. The State was to establish the following indices for the enterprises: volume of goods to be sold, main assortment of goods, the wage fund, the sum of profits and profitability, payment Into budget and allocation from the budget, volume of centralized capital investment, targets for introducing new technology and for (supplying material and equipment. This was not exactly cutting the enterprises loose.

However, the reform did expand the enterprise’s freedom of action in one most important way. In addition to setting up a “material incentive fund” out of retained profits (which enabled the enterprise managers to dip into the surplus value created by the workers), the “reform” directed that a “fund for the development of production” – for capital investment outside the plan – be created from a part of those profits as well. And this comrades, is what being a capitalist is all about, accumulating capital in an unplanned way! In fact this fund is mentioned in the long quote from the Soviet Minister of Finance dated 1965, which CL somehow managed to let slip in. But CL does not call attention to it or even explain it, they are too busy explaining that:

This material incentive – premiums – has been used to create a labor aristocracy and to alienate workers from their socialist ideals.(p. 13) ignoring the fact that management takes the lion’s share of the incentive fund!

The most significant aspect of the reform, however, concerns the relations of the State to the means of production. As we mentioned earlier, the main economic function of the dictatorship of the proletariat is the suppression of capital, as a social relation of production. An important aspect of this when the USSR was still socialist with the treatment of “capital” – means of production, funds – as a free good. It was granted to the enterprises out of the state budget, or through the state bank, without any sort charge or interest being exacted. Payments into the State budget by the enterprise were not figured on the basis of capital assets. What this meant was that “accumulated labor serve(d) living labour as a means for new production”.

The 1965 “reform” imposed a 6% “capital charge” on all fixed assets of the enterprise, This was be paid to the state out of profits.

It further provided that henceforth there would be no more grants from the state budget for capital construction. The enterprises would have to obtain credits from the state bank for both fixed and circulating capital and would be obligated to repay both principal and interest. The state now emerged as a finance capitalist, jointly exploiting the proletariat with the factory managers, transformed into Industrial capitalists. The division of spoils is roughly as follows: 60% to the state, 40% to the enterprise – the exact reverse of the Transport Experiment. Today “living labor serves accumulated labor as the means of preserving and multiplying its exchange value” in the Soviet economy.

Having given the means of production the character of capital, the “reform” took steps to give labor power the character of wage labor. The Soviet Consitution of 1936 guaranteed work to all able-bodied citizens. Under socialism, the plan had turned that promise into a reality by setting out for each enterprise how many workers they must hire, what level of wages they were to be paid, and what rate of productivity was to be achieved, in addition to setting a general lump-sum wage fund. The economic “reform” provided that the central planners set only the wage fund. This enabled the managers to hire – or to lay off – as many workers as he pleased, as long as he met his other planned obligations, maintaining a set rate of profitability being the primary one. Wages can also be determined in a more arbitrary manner as well, under this new system. In his speech setting out the new system, Kosygin revealed that:

There have been proposals that the wage fund of an enterprise also not be assigned from above. But to discard the planning of the wage fund would be premature. The necessary balance between the quantity of consumer goods manufactured and the population’s purchasing power is determined in large measure by the wage fund. (Kosygin, p. 12)

Such solicitude for the welfare of the working class! Kosygin speaks the language of Keynes, not Karl Marx.

Since the abandonment of planned employment in 1965, the social imperialists have moved on to planned unemployment. 1967 they launched an “experiment” at a large manufacturing plant, the Schekino Chemical Combine. The State promised to keep the wage fund at the same level for three years, if 20% of the plant’s work force was layed off. Over a thousand workers lost their jobs, mostly unskilled manual workers. The remaining workers received a 30% pay hike – from the money saved on their comrades’ wages – and raised their productivity by 91% due to the combining of jobs, speed up and general climate of insecurity. Such are the bribes offered by social Imperialism! Needless to say the remaining funds saved from the wage fund went into the material incentive fund and thence into the pockets of management. In October of 1969 the Central Committee of the CPSU passed a special resolution praising the Schekino plant, and held the experiment up as a model for a USSR-wide “socialist emulation campaign.” This campaign is now in full swing.

By 1930 it was possible to shut down the last labor exchange in the Soviet Union. Labor power had ceased to be a commodity – the necessary condition for the existence of capital eliminated. Today there are labor exchanges (called The Utilization Of Manpower Resources) located in the USSR! The Soviet press is filled with tales of young people fresh out of school wandering across the Soviet Union in search of work, only to find that hundreds of others have applied for the same job, yet CL chooses to cite a story from Pravda about greedy workers “who shift places of employment to more profitable industries in order to get more wages.” Is this an example of the CL’s “tremendous respect and love for the Soviet working class?” Or is the entire Soviet working class bribed, too? And what does CL have to say about the latest Industrial “Reform”, decreed in April, 1973, which merges a number of enterprises manufacturing related products into monopolistic “production associations” which have wide latitude in drawing up their production plans and. are even allowed to participate with the State in planning exports? This is a “reform” which takes the American monopolistic corporation as its model, and adopts the Nazi policy of compulsory cartellization as its method of implementation. This is no deep dark secret, it has been widely featured in the press, and on the front page of the New York Times!

We believe that capitalism in the fullest sense of the word exist in the Soviet Union. We also believe that “our advanced theoreticians” are not unfamiliar with the Kosygin Reform and the other facts we have cited to support our contention. So we must pose the question, why do they claim that capitalism has not been fully restored In the Soviet Union, if not to deceive the communist movement as to the real state of affairs? We do know that CL has this to say: That they aren’t going to fall for the petty bourgeois notion that “socialism grows peacefully out of capitalism and that capitalism grows peacefully out of socialism” This line was put forward in the Western Worker by Doug Ward and in private by the Chairman of the CL, Nelson Perry. Again, the CL is determined to pit itself against the international communist movement led by the PLA and the CPC. We will repeat the quote from the article, SQSC, to be found on page 45 of this pamphlet:

It was not carried out by the use of the armed force but was carried out in a peaceful manner, disguised with socialist phraseology, gradually eroding from within the socialist system...

Whether or not we allow the peaceful revisionist counterrevolution to appear depends on us alone... The revisionist counter-revolution is not an objective law of the development of socialism itself, as revolution stems from the very nature of capitalism.(SQSC, pp. 84-86)

So again, who are the petty bourgeois revolutionaries? The “new leftist” in the USNA or the PLA or CPC, or perhaps it is some right wing faction in all three cases since the comrades in CL have a penchant for speculating?


As we have seen there are two things that CL maintains silence about in its profound and “dialectical” analysis of the Soviet Union today. One is the last ten years of history, during which capitalist relations of production were fully established on a systematic basis, transforming the capitalist roaders into a capitalist class, a class whose leading elements are found not only at the plant level (or on the farms), but overwhelmingly in the upper reaches of the State and Party apparatuses.

The other area of silence is about the role of the party, the present day CPSU.

Why do they do this, comrades? First of all, because they are pushing a line of conciliation with Soviet social-imperialism. The Soviet social-imperialists already have the CPUSA to say that the Soviet Union is the world’s greatest socialist country and the CPSU is still the great party of Lenin, glorious and correct. They also have cowardly, spineless, characterless rats like the “Bafoon and the Horse’s” friend, C.J. Mumford, who recently published an article in Freedomways praising the Soviet Union to high heaven. But nonetheless, there are a lot of people who just ain’t listening anymore. So a CL comes along screaming and talking loud about revisionism and the need to build a party in the USNA, and at the same time saying that there is “plenty of capitalism” in the USSR but capitalism has not yet been restored, to also pass over the nature and role of the CPSU in silence, while attacking the line of the CPC and the PLA in a whisper, a frontal assault now and then and a whole lot of hints. CL is social-imperialism’s second line of defense in the workers and communist movement in the “USNA”.

Listen to how the “dialecticians” of CL talk about the loss of political power by the Soviet proletariat:

Therefore, it is quite necessary for us to see that the entire period of socialism, i.e., the dictatorship of the proletariat, is a period of fierce class struggles, class struggles that are not always won by the proletariat, but historically are lost by the bourgeoisie. In history it appears that social progress is an upward and onward motion. However, in life, progress is an extremely jerky process that is characterized by leaps, backsliding, crisis, the destruction of the negative followed by another great leap. It is as much wishful thinking for revolutionaries to believe that communism can be achieved without this process, as it is wishful thinking on the part of the bourgeoisie that they can by minor victories, forestall communism.” (People’s Tribune 6/74 pp. 11 – 12)

We are sorry, but we do not think that the restoration of capitalism in the world’s first socialist country, the poisoning of the international communist movement by revisionism, the reduction of the People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe to colonies, the exploitation of the masses of Egypt, India, Iraq, etc., the threat of a new world war for the redivision of the world constitute a “minor victory” for the bourgeoisie. When CL talks about class struggles not always being won by the proletariat during the dictatorship of the proletariat, we assume that is just a fancy way of saying that basically there is still a dictatorship of the proletariat, still socialism in the USSR, and that things will right themselves in time. How will that occur? Through the magical power of Hegelian dialectics, with the aid of the negation of the negation?

In fact, CL has a surprisingly concrete answer to the problems of the suffering Soviet proletariat. It is – not a new October Revolution – but a military coup! Since we are not dealing with a capitalist class, according to CL:

Many of the anti-revisionists fail to see that the key to the struggle [of the Soviet people] is the Isolation of the Brezhnev gang in the international communist movement.

We would like to ask in what international communist movement? In the one we see ourselves as part of, Brezhnev and the entire class he represents have been thoroughly exposed, by the Chinese and Albanian parties. One can only conclude that CL is trying to lead us back into the marsh of the revisionist international.

In the past months the People’s Tribune has been full of breathless little hits that Brezhnev’s days might be numbered. Thus in April we learn that:

In the Soviet Union, the detente deals have increasingly come under fire from sections of the Soviet ruling class. This section, led by the military, has been sharply criticized by the Brezhnev clique, who need USNA finance capital to help restore capitalism in the USSR. This battle between opportunists within the USSR was recently expressed indirectly in a “criticism” of the Spanish Communist Party for speaking out against detente and calling for war against the USNA imperialists. (p.8)

The “International Report” in the May People’s Tribune devotes several columns to nostalgic praise of the Soviet Red Army. And now, in June, CL informs us that “the situation in the USSR is building to a climax” what with – note the order well – “the strikes, the shooting of strikers by the army, the refusal of some collective farms to deliver grain to the state, the sharpening contradictions within the imperialist clique, etc.” (p. 13) In another article in the June issue, entitled “Toppling Governments Signal USNA Hegemony” we find the following cryptic passage:

In the Soviet Union, over the last few years, we have watched as the Party and the Army have been purged of most of the remaining communists, while military leader Marshall Grechko has been appointed to the Political Bureau of the Soviet Union.

Is this the “star” CL’s leadership have hitched their little red wagon to?

Beneath all this gossip is the assumption that the CPSU is still a Marxist-Leninist Party or that a fraction of its leadership may still be Marxist-Leninist. CL closes its article on “Class Struggle in the USSR” in this manner:

The Communist League has a tremendous respect and love for the Soviet working class and people. Led by the immortal Lenin, they blazed the trail that all revolutionary humanity today is following. The unparalleled self-sacrifice and heroism in the Great Patriotic War, their unselfish assistance to the peoples of the world! after their great victory has made them near and dear to us. Such a heroic people, such a glorious Party will not be thrown back into the epoch of capitalist barbarianism. (People’s Tribune, 6/74, p. 13, emphasis added.)

We’ve got some sad news for CL, they already have been. We would like to remind CL that, in the words of the Albanian comrades: “the party cannot be rescued by sobs and sighs, nor should it be sacrificed for the sake of saving the “prestige” of any one, at a time when this “prestige” is being unscrupulously utilized to bury the great cause of the working class and socialism.” (“The Modern Revisionists on the Way to Degenerating into Social-Democrats and to Fusing with Social-Democracy,” Zeri i Popullit, April 7, 1964, PLA, p. 335).

CL is, as noted, very silent about the role of the Party under socialism. But just as the proletariat cannot seize state power and establish its dictatorship without the leadership of a Marxist-Leninist Party, so it cannot maintain its dictatorship and build socialism without the guidance of the Party. That is why the bourgeoisie, as soon as it has been routed on the battle field, directs its attack against the Party, and seeks to lead It down the capitalist road. The ideological victory of revisionism within the Party leads to the downfall of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the restoration of capitalism with inevitability.

That is what happened in the Soviet Union. We must realize that at this point there is no question of the primacy of ideological struggle – a struggle between the bourgeois and proletarian line within the Party. A real proletariat, deprived of its means of production, is confronting a real bourgeoisie, which has ripped-off state power and with it, the means of production, from the working class. Getting rid of Brezhnev and bringing in Grechko will not solve the problems of the Soviet proletariat. Only a second October Revolution will. And such a revolution will not come about without the leadership of a genuine Marxist-Leninist Party. There are signs that such a Party may be in the process of formation. In the late ’60’s a Manifesto of the New Bolsheviks was published calling upon the Soviet revolutionaries to organize themselves into secret cells and wage the struggle against social-imperialism. This is the only correct path. But this is the path that CL is obscuring, trying to keep us from taking.

In the Soviet Union the proletarian revolution is, certainly, being organized and on the rise. The clique are afraid of this and they strike back, try to deceive and to neutralize the party of the class and the working class itself as best they can making them believe that it Is allegedly their “Leninist” party which leads, that everything is proceeding along “Leninist lines and with Leninist norms,” and so on. Amongst these illusions we should also include those “historically realistic ideas” on Stalin which certain career-seeking, degenerate army generals and marshals have started to write, with a view to throwing dust in the eyes of the masses and of genuine revolutionaries. But the Bolshevik revolutionaries and the Soviet working class are not to be deceived for long. They are becoming more and more aware that, in reality, power is being weilded by a clique of renegades and their bureaucratic anti-worker administration, that the party has been transformed into a bourgeois party and the dictatorship is a bourgeois dictatorship of the new capitalist class which oppresses the masses and the working class, exploits them economically for the benefit of the new revisionist bourgeoisie, does not allow them for a single moment to demonstrate their power and to demand their rights. (SQSC, p. 140, emphasis added)

Although this passage was published in an article called “The Working Class in Revisionist Countries Must Take the Field and Re-Establish the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” in the Albanian paper “Zeri i Popullit” way back in 1968 – the very same year CL was founded – we think it has an uncanny relevance to the line put forward in CL’s article on ”Class Struggle in the USSR” and elsewhere. A word to the wise – to the honest – should be sufficient.

* * *

Our examination of CL’s line on the international situation in general and on the question of the class nature of the Soviet Union in particular has revealed an eclectic cesspool where the ideological droppings of Hegelian idealism, modern revisionism, Trotskyism and Lin Piao-ism float about, bobbing up and down beneath a surface of “quotations” from the classics of Marxism-Leninism.

We know, however, that CL cadre and other people who gravitate towards CL and look to it for political guidance are overwhelmingly honest comrades who sincerely believe in Marxism-Leninism and are striving to master it, who oppose revisionism and who genuinely want to build a revolutionary Party of a New Type. To them we want to point out that the main thrust of the CL line is conciliation with Soviet social-imperialism. And as Comrade Fiqret Shehu of Albania writes in “About Some Actual Problems of the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism”:

The line of conciliation, today, just as in the past, is the line CENTRISM which in essence, although it tries to stand in both the two world camps, is disguised opportunism, and revisionism which has compromised with opportunism. Regardless of from what initial position this trend has passed to centrism, whether from the Marxist-Leninist position or from the revisionist positions, in the final analysis the representatives of this trend will certainly slip, one day, into openly hostile positions toward the cause of revolution and socialism. IN THE RECENT STRUGGLE BETWEEN MARXISM-LENINISM AND REVISIONISM AS A MANIFESTATION OF THE CLASS STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE PROLETARIAT AND THE BOURGEOISIE, THERE IS AND THERE CAN BE NO MIDDLE ROAD.

The only correct road is the road of resolute struggle, STEEL TO STEEL, against modern revisionism with the Soviet clique at its head, until its complete and final destruction. This is a struggle of world historic importance, on the result of which the fate of the development of the world revolution, of the liberation of the peoples, of socialism, depends. And there can be no doubt that in this great clash, the victory will be certainly on the side of Marxism-Leninism, the peoples, and socialism. The same fate awaits the revisionist traitors as that which all their predecessors suffered. The wheel of history cannot be turned back by retrogressive forces. The future belongs to communism. (SQSC, pp. 176-77)