Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist League

Regional Autonomy for the Southwest

Chapter V: Deviations

There are basically two deviations from Marxism-Leninism on the national question. They are national chauvinism and cultural-national autonomy (reactionary cultural nationalism). Both of these deviations disarms the proletariat and serve the interests of the imperialists in enabling them to maintain their dying system of exploitation and plunder. Therefore, it is imperative that the Anglo-American proletariat have a clear understanding of these deviations in order to expose them for what they are: ideologies hostile to the interests of the proletariat and international socialism.

National Chauvinism

National chauvinism is linked to imperialism and as such maintains the domination of one nation over another. When modern USNA imperialism arose in the late 1800’s, the only place they could expand was to the backward and “colored” areas of the world. The emergence of the Negro Nation, the enslavement of the “colored” Central and South America, the conquest of the Philippines, all added to the concepts that were left over by the history of slavery...“modern imperialism enslaved whole nations – hence, white supremacy turned into white chauvinism inasmuch as the enslaved nations were colored and the U.S. ruling class is white.”[1]

The specific role of white supremacy in USNA history makes it inevitable that the most aggressive and brutal specific form of national chauvinism is white chauvinism. But by no means be deceived that Anglo-American national chauvinism is never directed toward whites. Any European will tell you otherwise. This even rubs off on Negro National Minorities who will sometimes tend to discriminate against blacks of other nations. This is also true of the Mexican National Minority who have lived in the Anglo-American nation; at times they will tend to discriminate against recent immigrants from Mexico, referring to them as “wetbacks” or “T.J.’s”, for example. It should be clear then that white supremacy that justified slavery was supplanted by national chauvinism. So that the new ideology of aggressive USNA imperialism had to assure certain forms of its forerunner–white supremacy. But it would be politically dangerous for us not to see the difference. White chauvinism is a leading and specific form of chauvinism. White chauvinism is the excuse for the brutal exploitation of the “colored” masses of the world and is the principle ideology of aggressive USNA fascism. However, white chauvinism is not the only form that great nation chauvinism takes against the Mexican National Minority.

Great nation chauvinism also takes the form of language and religious discrimination. This can be clearly seen by the forcible restriction of the Spanish language and Mexican culture in schools or in public life. In the courts, no provision is made for Spanish-speaking people and often people are tried, convicted, and sent to jail without knowing what happened. In the factories and in the fields many people are swindled out of their meager wages or are cheated out of benefits because they don’t speak English. Along with this the imperialists propagandize the lie that Mexicans are lazy, irresponsible and incapable of learning, so that they can force the Mexican National Minority workers into the lowest, hardest, filthiest jobs and pay them less than the Anglo-American workers.

Thus chauvinism is a concept that does away with class outlooks and seeks to divide the working class, giving privileges to some and brutalizing others, thus dividing the workers along national lines.

White chauvinism has become a material force–a powerful weapon in the hands of the ruling class to divide the working class, bribe the Anglo-American workers into accepting, if not supporting, aggressive imperialism...we must deepen our understanding that the necessary material base of white chauvinism is imperialism and white chauvinism will not be completely wiped out until imperialism is defeated.[2]

To hasten the downfall of imperialism we must wage a relentless struggle to unite the international proletariat. We must not allow ourselves to fall for the imperialist bait. We must take up the struggle to eliminate national privilege of all kinds, reject the fascist-imperialist ideology of white chauvinism, and demand a national program of equal rights for the Mexican National Minority and Regional Autonomy for the Southwest!

Cultural-National Autonomy

The slogan of national culture is bourgeois deception. Our slogan is the international culture of democracy and of the world working class movement.[3]

National culture is a bourgeois slogan because in every nation there are two classes and therefore two cultures. There is bourgeois culture and proletarian culture. As Lenin said, “Every national culture contains elements, even if not developed, of democratic and socialist culture, for in every nation there are toiling and exploited masses, whose living conditions inevitably give rise to the ideology of democracy and socialism.”[4] In the world today, and especially here in the USNA, the strongest and most violent imperialist nation in the history of the world, it is the bourgeois culture that takes the form, not merely of elements, but of the dominant culture. Therefore the general national culture is the culture of the bourgeoisie.

The general slogan of national culture is a tool of the bourgeoisie. This “national culture” of the bourgeoisie “stultifies, fools, and disunites the workers in order that the bourgeoisie may lead them by the halter...” This slogan obscures class distinctions and class antagonisms and attempts to create national divisions among the international working class. It says that the interests of the proletariat and that of the bourgeoisie are identical and that the interests of proletarians of different national origins are not the same; hence, the bourgeoisie can continue to oppress and exploit the toiling masses. “The place of one who advocates the slogan of national culture is among the petty bourgeoisie and not among Marxists.”[5]

The question of the national-culture slogan is of great importance to the Anglo-American proletariat because the entire program of cultural-national autonomy is built on this. Let us look at the essence of this program and see what it would mean for the Mexican national minority.

1. It means that autonomy would be granted to the Mexican National Minority, irrespective of territory, no matter what part of the USNA they inhabit; that is why it is called national and not territorial.
2. It means that the Mexican National Minority, scattered all over the USNA, would be organized, not on the basis of Regional Autonomy for the Southwest; but into an autonomous nationality irrespective of territory.
3. It would mean that the national institutions which are to be created for the Mexican National Minority would have jurisdiction only over “cultural,” not political questions. Specifically political questions would be reserved for the congress, which is part of the USNA state apparatus. That is why this autonomy is called cultural, cultural-national autonomy.

The call for community control is based on this type of “autonomy.” What it means is that the national minority would be in control of educational and cultural processes in their scattered communities, but that the political decisions would remain in the hands of the USNA state. Stalin mentions an example of how absurd this demand is in relation to the Negroes in the Negro Nation. National oppression is a political problem and, as such, the solution is also political and not cultural.

The call for national autonomy suppports and “presupposes the integrity of the multi-national state,”, i.e., the cultural-national autonomy program would approve of and support the multi-national state of the USNA, providing the national bourgeoisie control of the culture. Instead of acting to destroy imperialism cultural-national autonomy supports imperialism. Therefore, the Anglo-American proletariat rejects cultural-national autonomy and counterposes the revolutionary slogan: Regional Autonomy for the Southwest!


In regard to the Mexican National Minority and the Southwest region the revisionist Communist Party of the U.S.A. has failed to and avoided bringing forth their program on national oppression to the attention of the Anglo-American proletariat. However, the spontaneous upsurge of the Mexican National Minority in the late 1960’s forced the CPUSA to make a statement in regard to this question. In 1972 they published a short twenty-five page pamphlet entitled Toward Chicano Liberation, the Communist Party position which was the presented resolution adopted by the 20th National Convention of the CPUSA.

This pamphlet is a precise exposition of the views of the CPUSA and is a clear reflection of its syndicalism, chauvinism, and outright opportunism and class-collaboration. This document is an example of the betrayal of the Anglo-American working class by these philistines. On page one and two, these “Marxists” state:

The brutal oppression of the Chicano people by U.S. monopoly capital is indeed the oppression of a national group. Their status as second class citizens devoid of rights is an attempt to deprive them of any legal weapons to attain equal citizenship with white citizens of the United States. The robbery of their lands, the attack against their language, is a racist attempt at cultural genocide.

This is the “Communist Party position.” These renegades would have us believe that “the robbery of their (Mexican National Minority) lands” is cultural genocide. Any schoolchild knows that the annexation of territories is accomplished through war and slaughter, the thievery of land means legal and extralegal terror, the raping of mothers, the wanton slaughter and havoc at the hands of midnight riders, it means the Colt .45 of the Texas Rangers. And these scum have the audacity to call this “cultural genocide”.

These philistines in the spirit of opportunism very skillfully state that the Mexican people are a national group and leave it at that. They carefully avoid any implication that the Mexican people in the Southwest are part of the Anglo-American nation for that would make the Mexican people a national minority, and an integral part of the Anglo-American proletariat. Instead they chauvinistically use abstract terms such as a nebulous “national group,” etc. These abstractions are intended to: 1) separate the national oppression of the Mexican National Minority from the question of land, in this case the Southwest region; 2) it is an attempt to keep the Anglo-American proletariat divided. This is class collaboration of the worst order.

With imperialism being reaction in its most brutal form the unity of the Anglo-American working class is of paramount importance. Lenin following in the tradition set by Marx and Engels long ago stated:

The struggle of the workers becomes a class struggle only when all the foremost representatives of the entire working class of the whole country are conscious of themselves as a single working class and launch a struggle that is directed, not against individual employers, but against the entire class of capitalists and against the government that supports that class.[6]

Isn’t this precisely what our friends, the “Marxists,” do not want to do. But instead they promote bourgeois ideology within the working class so that it can promote the unity of the chauvinism of the imperialists with the nationalism of the Mexican national minority petty-bourgeoisie. In this way, it is assured that the Southwest remains a vast reserve of USNA imperialism.

It is the very nature of the imperialist system itself that these “Marxists” wish to hide: the fact that imperialism is the colonization of nations, the annexation of territories, the subjugation of peoples, and the entanglement of the world in the web of finance capital. Any clear understanding of national oppression and its relation to imperialism would automatically mean socialist revolution. And it is this conclusion that these “Marxists” wish to evade. That is why our friends, the CPUSA, must keep the national question within the realm of abstractions.

But abstract theories lead to abstract programs. Real Communists are concrete and the fact is that the Southwest is a reserve of USNA imperialism, that the national oppression perpetrated against the Mexican National Minority is concrete and that the most tangible manner in which to fight chauvinism is to destroy imperialism.

On page three our friends, the “Marxists” continue with their opportunist diatribe:

Racism and white chauvinism continue to be the most highly exploitative factors pursuing the Chicano people today. Chicanos are confronted by these inhuman practices daily in their work, from white fellow workers and from bosses, from doctors, teachers, policeman, neighbors and all strata of the white population, even from among those who claim to be their friends.

Further these chauvinists claim that the real source of the national problem is the “white population.” They argue: “The terrible divisive character of racism in the U.S. must be overcome. The main burden for achieving this rests on the shoulders of white workers.” The CP is implying that the only solution to the national problem in the USNA is for Anglo-American workers to struggle against their own “racist” ideas. This relegating of the national question to the realm of ideas separates it from its material base which is the export of finance capital, and the resulting super-exploitation, in this particular case, of the Southwest region. From this super-exploitation USNA imperialism is able to bribe the Anglo-American workers into acceptance of colonial oppression and exploitation by the imperialists. This concept of “racism” is chauvinism, “pure and simple”, and class collaboration on the part of these “Marxists.” Chauvinism is linked with the conquest and enslavement of nations, territories, and peoples, not races. This rotten idealist theory of “racism” divides the working class and reduces the class struggle for socialism to a struggle against the “racial” ideas of the Anglo-American workers instead of a struggle against imperialism, the material base of chauvinism.

Thus we can see why this “Communist Party Position” of these “Marxists” is given a cheerful stamp of approval by the Wall Street financial magnates.

These “Marxists” expose themselves even further on the question of the border and deportations. On page twenty-one, these scoundrels write:

Border crossing between Mexico and the United States must be liberalized to do away with all forms of harassment, persecution and prosecution.


The Border Patrol along the U.S.-Mexican border in its present form must be abolished. All Immigration personnel who constitute a continuous source of racist repression, a constant threat to the lives and rights of the Mexican and Chicago peoples, must be removed.

There you have the “Communist Party Position” of these “Marxists”: “border crossing liberalized,” the removal of a few “racist” immigration personnel. And they have the nerve to call this Marxism! This the internationalism of these imposters–liberal reforms that protect and conceal the true nature of imperialism.

As long as Mexico is a neo-colony of the USNA with its large surplus of labor power (the unemployment rate is 40%.) and an increasing population that will double by 1990, the imperialists will continue to use the Southwest region as a reserve and a haven for their runaway shops. The problem of national oppression, through the use of the Immigration Service, is not going to be terminated through the “liberalization” of laws, not when it is rooted in the imperialist system itself. In Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin in his rebuttal against the arch opportunist Kautsky, wrote:

Imperialism is the epoch of finance capital and of monopolies, which introduce everywhere the striving for domination, not for freedom. Whatever the political system the result of these tendencies is everywhere reaction and an extreme intensification of antagonisms in this field. Particularly intensified become the yoke of national oppression and the striving for annexations, i.e., the violation of national independence (for annexation is nothing but the violation of the right of nations to self-determination).[7]

Not a word is mentioned by these “Marxists” about the annexation of the Southwest by the USNA, of the financial stranglehold that Wall Street has over Mexico, that the imperialist system itself thrives on the subjugation of nations and peoples through national oppression and the export of capital. But then again why should they when they live off the bribes and privileges that are handed down to them by their imperialist master. It becomes apparent where the material base of these opportunist originates.

(1) Economically, the difference is that sections of the working class in the oppressor nations receive crumbs from the superprofits the bourgeoisie of these nations obtains by extra exploitation of the workers of the oppressed nations. Besides, economic statistics show that here a larger percentage of the workers become “straw bosses” than is the case in the oppressed nations, a larger percentage rise to the labour aristocracy. This is a fact. To a certain degree the workers of the oppressor nations are partners of their own bourgeoisie in plundering the workers (and the mass of the population) of the oppressed nations. (2) Politically, the difference is that, compared with the workers of the oppressed nations, they occupy a privileged position in many spheres of political life. (3) Ideologically, or spiritually, the difference is that they are taught, at school and in life, disdain and contempt for the workers of the oppressed nations. This has been experienced, for example, by every Great Russian who has been brought up or who has lived among Great Russians.[18]

Now it becomes clear why these “Marxists” avoid the whole question of the state they know as well as anybody that the state is an instrument of class rule, and that the state cannot be reformed but must be smashed.

There is but one solution to the border question and that lies in the overthrow of the imperialist system itself. Only then can we implement Regional Autonomy (local self-government) for the Southwest border region, abolish the Border Patrol, the Immigration Service, terminate documents for Mexican people, and rid Mexico of imperialism. But our friends, the “Marxists” can’t have this because it would unite the proletariat of the Anglo-American nation with that of Mexico and thus these phony “Marxists” would be deprived of their privileges and crumbs from the imperialists’ super-profits.

How Kautsky, the arch renegade and opportunist of the chauvinist Second International, must smile with content in his grave as these parasites and buffoons plagiarize and emulate his “theories” in their so-called “Communist Party Position.” Karl Marx once said:

Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.[9]

And so it is with our friends, the “Marxists”, as they try to revive the echo of Kautsky from the dustbins of history and choke on the dust in the process.

The last and concluding section of this “Communist Party Position” is entitled “Social and Cultural demands.” Here our friends, the “Marxists” list thirty-three demands in an effort to prove their true “revolutionary commitment.” Among these demands, they call for bilingual education in the Southwest, community control of educational facilities, “reform of the judicial system,” interest-free loans, Chicano administrators and teachers in all subjects, “free breakfast and lunch for all school children,” and would you believe “the fullest application of the Bill of Rights in every aspect of life”! This is the content of the “Marxist” program of the “Communist Party Position” of the revolutionary CPUSA–reactionary cultural nationalism with a strong dose of reformism. One would think that this was the program of the Kerner Commission but then again they serve the same interests–one, openly, and the CPUSA disguised as Marxism.

In 1918, Stalin, in responding to the similar demands of the Austrian Social-Democrats, wrote:

They tried to separate the national question from politics and to confine it to cultural and educational questions, forgetting the existence of such ’trifles’ as imperialism and the enslavement of the colonies by imperialism.[10]

Nowhere do these opportunist scum, the “Marxists” propose any real political solution to this all important questions. Nowhere do they call for the placing of the political power in the hands of the Mexican national minority workers. Instead these chauvinists by relegating the demands to the realm of cultural demands and reforms thus unite with the nationalism of the Mexican National Minority petty bourgeoisie, thereby keeping the Anglo-American proletariat divided and insuring that the shackles of imperialism are well placed and secure. Lenin long ago showed how: “The reformists try to divide and deceive the workers, to divert them from the class struggle by petty concessions.”[11]

He further demonstrated how cultural-national autonomy works in the interests of the imperialists:

There can be no doubt that ’national culture,’ in the ordinary sense of the term, i.e., schools, etc., is at present under the predominant influence of the clergy and the bourgeois chauvinists in all countries in the world. When the Bundists, in advocating ’cultural-national’ autonomy, say that the constituting of nations will keep the class struggle within them clean of all extraneous considerations, then that is manifest and ridiculous sophistry. It is primarily in the economic and political sphere that a serious class struggle is waged in any capitalist society. To separate the sphere of education from this is, firstly, absurdly Utopian, because schools (like ’national culture’ in general) cannot be separated from economics and political life of a capitalist country that necessitates at every step the smashing of the absurd and outmoded national barriers and prejudices, whereas separation of the school system and the like, would only perpetuate, intensify and strengthen ’pure’ clericalism and ’pure’ bourgeois chauvinism.

In practice, the plan for ’extra-territorial’ or ’cultural-national’ autonomy could mean only one thing: the division of educational affairs according to nationality, the real significance of the Bund plan will enable one to realise how utterly reactionary it is even from the standpoint of democracy, let alone from that of the proletarian class struggle for socialism.[12]

This statement holds true today as it did in Lenin’s time, the so-called “Communist Party Position” of these “Marxists” exposes itself as to where it really stands: in the camp of the bourgeoisie and reaction.

Instead of calling for the overthrow of capital these opportunists call for “the redistribution of the nation’s immense wealth for the benefit of all.” How cleverly they substitute this statement for the overthrow of imperialism and the freeing of the colonial world. They grossly violate proletarian internationalism by chauvinistically urging the workers to fight for a bigger’ slice of the pie at the expense of the toilers of the world.

They continue with their “Marxism”: “The Chicano national movement is no isolated struggle, but is an objective part of the democratic and revolutionary forces of the U.S. nation as a whole and of the world revolutionary process.” These chauvinist rabble seek to divide the ranks of the proletariat by confusing the U.S. state with the Anglo-American nation which are two entirely different phenomena. A state is the subjective and most conscious component of the superstructure of a society, it is an organ of violence aid oppression that is a weapon in the hands of the ruling class. A nation, unlike a state, belongs in the category of history and not of politics. National formations are the result of the consolidation of markets and of historical evolvement. In other words, the USNA is the state apparatus, and Anglo-America is the nation. But what these chauvinist and imperialist bootlickers are really saying is that the Negro Nation and Puerto Rico are part of the Anglo-American nation and therefore do not exist as nations, thereby liquidating the national question.

But our friends the “Marxists” call their program the “Communist Party Position.” Here we have twenty-five pages without a single Marxist analysis, without a single quote from any of the great theoreticians of the International Communist Movement, not a single word about the Dictatorship of the Proletariat or of Communism. Long ago Marx emphasized how Marxism differed from the theories of the radical bourgeoisie:

Those who recognise only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat.[13]

This resolution of the 20th National Convention should have been entitled “The Anti-Communist Position of the Populist CPUSA,” a title that is much more aptly suited to its contents which belong in the local garbage dump along with its authors, the phony “Communists.”

It took until 1970 for the CPUSA to come out with a resolution on the Mexican National Minority and even then the most that they could propose was “Liberation” (whatever that means!). This evasiveness is nothing but blatant chauvinism. To this anti-communist program, we Marxists-Leninists counterpose the program of Regional Autonomy for the Southwest! And Equal Rights for the Mexican National Minority!

Today the Anglo-American proletariat does not have a Marxist-Leninist party to guide it in its struggle for socialism. On the previous pages we have shown how the so-called “Communist Party Position” of the CPUSA is the embodiment of bourgeois ideology in the movement of the working class. We have seen the “scientific program” of these philistines; chauvinism united with idealism, reactionary cultural-nationalism with reformism. They purposely separate the national question from the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. And instead, pervert Marxism-Leninism by not making proletarian democracy, class solidarity, and the proletarian revolution the cornerstone of their position.

In the revolutionary process of overthrowing capital in the USNA, as communists we see that one of our main tasks is to expose and isolate the revisionist CPUSA, theoretically and politically. We hope that this pamphlet is a step in that direction.


[1] Op. Cit., Communist League, Pg. 12.

[2] People’s Tribune, Vol. 3, No. 6, pg. 10.

[3] Op. Cit., Lenin, pg. 16.

[4] Ibid., pg. 18.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Lenin , Collected Works, Vol. 4., “Our Immediate Task”, Progress Publishers, Moscow 1964, pg. 215.

[7] Lenin, V. I. Against Revisionism, “Imperialism, Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1966. pg. 295.

[8] Ibid., “Caricature of Marxism”, pp. 297-298.

[9] Marx, Karl and Engels, Frederich, Collected Works, Op. Cit. “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte”, pg. 399.

[10] Op. Cit., Stalin, “The October Revolution and the National Question”, pg. 76.

[11] Op. Cit., Lenin, Against Revisionism, “Marxism and Reformism”, pg.162.

[12] Op. Cit., Lenin, National Policy, pp. 29-30.

[13] Lenin, V.I. State and Revolution, Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1970, pg. 292.