Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Black Workers Congress

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


Some people within the revolutionary movement, as well as within the Communist movement, believe that ideological struggle and disputes over theoretical questions are a waste of time, that this is simply useless and harmful intellectual activity. They argue that what really counts is “building the mass movement”; they contend that they are too busy doing this to concern themselves with all the debates carried on by the “abstract Marxists”, debates that will only “isolate us from the masses”. THIS IS A GRAVE MISTAKE! In no way does such an attitude reflect the fighting-spirit and attitude of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, an attitude they displayed on every level of the class struggle – the ideological, political and organizational. Lenin, as well as other great Marxist-Leninist like Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Enver Hoxha, teach us that Marxism grows strong and develops in struggle with revisionism and opportunism. Lenin himself was a tireless fighter, and tireless in emphasizing the necessity for resolute struggle against opportunism of every hue. He said:

Such is my fate. One militant campaign after another against political stupidities, vulgarities, opportunism, etc. This ever since 1893. And the hatred of the philistines resulting from it. Well, anyhow I would not exchange this fate for “peace” with the philistines. (CW, Vol.35, p.209)

And in order to make this point crystal clear, allow us to quote once again from the works of Lenin. We know how much several quotes from the Marxist classics drive our own “philistine” practical plodders who are aiming at leading the revolution up a blind alley.

One of the indispensable conditions in preparing the proletariat to win victory is the protracted, determined and merciless struggle against opportunism, reformism, social-chauvinism and all bourgeois influences and trends of this kind, which are inevitable as long as the proletariat is acting in the conditions of capitalism. Without this struggle, without a complete preliminary victory over opportunism in the labour movement, we cannot begin to talk about the dictatorship of the proletariat. (Quoted from Albania Today, Jan-Feb.issue, 1974 pp. 38-39)

At present inside the Communist movement in the U.S. a fierce struggle which has been half-hidden is now breaking out full-blown, beginning on the philosophical front and extending all the way down the line on every important question of the U.S. proletarian revolution. And as we said earlier, the class struggle on the ideological and political front in the U.S. Communist movement is part of the world-wide, historic battle between materialism and idealism, between revolution and reaction and between Marxism-Leninism and modern Revisionism. As Comrade Chou En lai said in his New Year speech:

“The World is in great disorder, and this disorder is a good thing for the peoples of the world”. At present, the great disorder in the ranks of the U.S. Communist movement is a reflection of the great disorder in the world; a good, not a bad thing, for the people inside this movement.

Because now that we are at a critical period when the workers’ movement is increasing in tempo, when the task of building a new revolutionary Bolshevik Party cannot be denied even by the likes of the leaders of the RU and other opportunist forces who have just recently crawled out of the wall, the revolutionary wing of the proletarian movement must unleash even heavier fire on opportunism. The struggle against CL’s sometimes half-hidden Trotskyism, sometimes open and above board conciliation with modern revisionism, their slanderous attacks on the dictatorship of the proletariat, their wrecking method of attempting to utilize the opportunist mistakes made by the Right opportunist like the RU to advance their own counter-revolutionary sectarian line, all of this is concrete proof that the bourgeoisie and their agents is frightened to death of the revolutionary proletariat’s successes in the struggle to build a new, genuine Bolshevik Communist Party.

Let us sum-up once again the political consequences which flow from the erroneous lines and views of the CL and RU which we have analyzed in this pamphlet.


It is clear that the main feature of CL’s world outlook and the outlook the various “left” trends all over the world, is the OVER-ESTIMATION AND ABSOLUTIZATION OF THE ROLE OF “SUBJECTIVE ACTIVITY” in the negation of the role of objective conditions in the transformation of reality, and in the substitution of the abstract for the concrete. According to the CL the transformation of “consciousness” in line with the Hegelian triadic law of “thesis, antithesis, synthesis”, is the motive force of history, that world history is determined by “highly theoretical intellectuals possessed of pure reason”; in the final analysis, a theory which denies the role of the masses as the real and only makers of history.

CL’s departure from real revolutionary dialectics and their substitution of it with idealist Hegelianism, cannot but lead also to a departure from the ideological, political and organizational lines of revolutionary politics in general. In spite of their constant preaching about the need “for the Party” and the “importance of study”, they negate the necessity for genuine revolutionary theory, a genuine revolutionary Party, political program, strategy and tactics, which is based on a real reflection of the objective world and the class struggle, which is the motive force of history.

If the outlook and method of the CL and RU was to gain hegemony within the movement, and such a Party as CL is hoping to build was to “lead” and “guide” the movement, there would be no way the proletariat could really find its way through the many complex situations of the class struggle, let alone to its ultimate victory – because there would be no concrete analysis of concrete conditions – the real soul of revolutionary dialectics – but instead, only the abstract ideas flowing from the heads of CL’s core of “advanced theoreticians”.


CL’s appraisal of the objective situation world-wide and at home, as well as their appraisal of the Communist and revolutionary forces leading the fight against imperialism and social-imperialism, is the latest word in CENTRISM and modern-day Trotskyism.

CL’s analysis of the U.S. workers’ movement, as well as their “analysis” of the history of the U.S. Communist movement, takes its stand with Theodore Draper and Herbert Marcuse, as well as all those bourgeois ideologists and charlatan clowns who scream that the working class is bought off, the most workers are middle class, that the whole working class is BRIBED, etc. The political consequences of this line is obvious – to further isolate the Communist movement from the workers’ movement while deepening the counterrevolutionary role of Trotskyism and modern revisionism; tie the revolutionary workers’ movement to Moscow and Ernst Mandel, and preserve the capitalist order in the U.S.


The CL right from the beginning in their “analysis” of the “Negro National Colonial Question” develops a completely new historical analysis which openly contradicts the international Communist movement. The national question within the U.S. has always been a special phase of the class struggle, the Black national question especially. Historically, all genuine Communists have agreed that the position taken on this question is a key indicator of whether an organization is pursuing a revolutionary course or not. From the analysis we made of CL’s position on this question we can say without a doubt that they are not pursuing a revolutionary course and are steadfastly heading for the “marsh”.


On this most important of questions, CL’s position in no way matches up with the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the question and in fact, is its direct opposite–a brand of counter-revolutionary Trotskyism! Their attacks, though disguised, are aim straight at the countries where the proletariat is in power – China and Albania. While raising Stalin, and quoting from him right and left, they are really trying to bring Trotsky through the back door by bringing back his same arguments about “a dictatorship of several parties”, and “no two-stage revolutions”, and the “proletariat stands alone etc.–arguments that were crushed by Stalin and the international Communist movement over forty years ago!

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So Comrades, in opposing the materialist outlook, the opportunists both “left” and openly Right, inscribe idealism on their banners and do all they can do to uphold and perpetuate the rule of the bourgeoisie. In order to deceive the masses and their own cadres, opportunists like those in the RU pretend to uphold the banner of practice, just like the opportunists in the CL pretend to uphold the banner of theory. But as we have seen neither one really upholds what they claim to, let alone the unity of the two. To the RU, practice means direct experience of everything (which means actual knowledge of very little). Any genuine beginner student of Marxism knows that one cannot have direct experience of everything, in fact most knowledge come from indirect experience (based on the direct experience of others). One’s own direct experience should never be regarded as absolute even though it reflects, or may reflect, objective reality to a certain extent. Nonetheless, it is incomplete, partial and only at the perceptual level of knowledge. In order to transform this incomplete knowledge into relatively complete knowledge, one must study Marxist-Leninist theory and use this great, weapon to sum up the revolutionary experiences of the class struggle, to turn it into a sharp weapon in the hands of the proletariat and its Party. The leaders of the RU exalt direct, one-sided (particularly their “own”), experience, belittle theory, and lead their cadres into narrow practicalism and empiricism in order to chain them to their own low-level grasp of Marxism-Leninism.

To the leaders of the CL, on the other hand, “theory” means abstract knowledge (not even correct abstract knowledge, but distorted) and idealist apriorism, devoid of concrete analysis, and not based on genuine reflections of things and processes in the real world. Under the signboard of “without genuine revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement”, they give us logical word-games designed to bluff the naive.


It is therefore on the basis of grasping the struggle against both these tendencies, principally the MAIN DANGER – open (RU) Right opportunism, and secondarily, on the opportunism of the “left”(CL) variety, that will enable us to go forward in our tasks, deepen our understanding of the revolutionary science of Marxism-Leninism, and strengthen our ties with the advanced sectors of the class.

Let us raise the high banner of MARXIST-LENINIST UNITE! on the basis of a correct political line – particularly as it is expressed in a Party Program – using ideological struggle to arrive at the truth and unity of revolutionary cadres; and, let us deepen our ties with the working class and the broad masses, winning the most advance from their ranks to our cause and away from the influences of the opportunist, let us build a revolutionary Party of a really New Type!

The Black Workers’ Congress
May-June, 1974