Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Los Angeles RYM II

Letter to RU Executive Committee

Published: Marxist Bulletin, No. 10 [Spartacist] n.d. [1971]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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September 1969

Dear Comrades,

Our Los Angeles Collective has voted unanimously to found our collective and all future collectives that we build on a set of principles that stand at complete variance with the “Statement of Principles” in RED PAPERS I.

The “Statement of Principles” separates imperialism from monopoly capitalism instead of recognizing imperialism as the monopoly stage of capitalism, as the highest stage of capitalism, with no intermediate rungs between imperialism and socialism. The position, therefore, is simply a carefully veiled resuscitation of the CPUSA(R) anti-monopoly coalition, the “two stage” theory of the American revolution. The document chauvinistically upholds the privileges of the oppressor American nation by denying the right of political secession to the Black nation thru its thesis that the “Black nation is everywhere” and that Black proletarians in the Black Belt are really members of the American proletariat. The “Statement of Principles” upholds the rotten system of male dominance by denying the hatred of women for male supremacy, by denying men's oppression of women, by denying the existence of masculine privilege within the working class and by throwing up its hands on the question of male supremacy within revolutionary organizations.

The leadership has accused everyone else of sectarianism, of “book worship,” of making too much of theory, of hairsplitting... while they have refused to budge an inch on any of the fundamental questions that have been criticized. It is not that they belittle theory, but rather that they belittle only the theory of others thinking that they have laid the foundations for the Marxist Leninist line in America. They pretend to accept all criticisms but do not in fact accept any of the criticism. Instead they wage an unprincipled campaign of slander and innuendo, suppression of contrary ideas, effectively cutting off the membership from developments throughout the country.

The atmosphere of liberalism toward error, the absence of the most elementary democratic centralist forms such as a responsible chairman of the organization and an identifiable leadership, the Liu Shao Chi preoccupation with busy work not based upon a plan has isolated some of the best comrades from the ideological struggle and developed in them a contempt for the struggle to sharpen our scientific weapons–all these contribute to the inability of the RU to deal effectively with its shortcomings.

We believe that it is essential to separate ourselves from the splitting activities that have been carried out nationally against RYM II and in the Bay Area SDS by RU comrades. The attempt to prevent an alliance in the Fall Action between RYM II, the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, by insisting that the Weatherman narodniks be united with at the very moment they were attacking the people; by accusing RYM II, the Black Panthers and the Young Lords of “scabbing” on the Fall Action by not uniting with the Weather-bureau, by suppressing any report in The Movement newspaper of the Detroit RYM conference, and doing all this in the name of unity, pretending to oppose Weatherman and standing smack dab in the center which means on the right.

It is our view that there is a unity of theory and practice within the RU. Just as the practical actions of the RU in the recent period have attempted to unite Marxist-Leninists with opportunists, so too, the theoretical line of the “Statement of Principles” embodies a similar “centrist” line. It is our view that “centrism” invariably sides with opportunism and is at its root opportunist. Centrism is designed to save opportunism, to keep the backward backward and to hold back the advanced.

The line of struggle open to Marxist Leninists within the RU must be to call for public repudiation of the “Statement of Principles” and for substitution of a Marxist Leninist set of principles in its place. To build, on the basis of those principles, a base in the proletariat, real alliances with Black and Brown revolutionary organizations, a strong working class women's movement and a powerful RYM II region in the Bay Area. These are the preliminary steps which in this period will help us move toward the creation of a new Marxist-Leninist Party in the U.S.

Marv Treiger
on behalf of the L.A. collective