Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Ultra-“Lefts” Say No

A United Front in the U.S.?

First Published: The Call, Vol. 2, No. 8, May 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Communist League (CL), an organization which has recently called a conference to build a new party in the U.S., has engaged in a slanderous, vicious attack against the October League, the united front movement against imperialism and even the People’s Republic of China.

Because of this, we feel that it is our duty to defend the revolutionary forces against such attacks and use the opportunity which the CL has provided for us to expose these dishonest tactics.

The Communist League represents one of the trends which broke away from the camp of the revisionist CPUSA and in the sense that it broke some honest revolutionary people from this counter-revolutionary cesspool, they have made a contribution to the growing, young movement.

But while breaking from the CP, they have failed to guard against the twin brother of revisionism – ultra-“leftism.” CL has now gone completely into the swamp of sectarianism and has begun to wage a systematic attack on the other revolutionary forces and especially on the whole concept of the United Front Against Imperialism. This along with the party, constitutes a major strategic weapon with which to end the rule of the monopoly capitalist class in this country and around the world.

Even worse, in the March issue of their newspaper, the People’s Tribune, CL opportunistically tries to use China to attack this concept and to attack the October League. The article entitled “Bridge to Revolution,” while paying lip service to the anti-fascist struggle, makes the following statement:

Severed years ago, the Chinese made a general call to build a united front against imperialism. The October League and other organizations in the ’left’ have distorted this call by calling for a united front against imperialism within the USNA. (CL uses USNA to mean “United States of North America” – ed.) The call by the Chinese was a call to the colonial world which is exploited and oppressed by imperialism. Within the USNA, we are not exploited by a foreign power, but by the USNA capitalist class. The way we can best support the struggle of the colonies against imperialism is to build a Communist Party to lead a united front to stop the fascism the imperialists need to further plunder and rape the colonies. Then we must strike the death blow to capitalism itself. (People’s Tribune, Vol. 6, No. 3, p. 11.)

It is due to the great prestige which the Communist Party of China has won in the eyes of the revolutionary peoples of the world that many opportunists try to use China for their own purposes. This was the ploy of the Progressive Labor Party (PL) who claimed that China joined with them in their traitorous attack on the Vietnamese struggle and in their break from the anti-imperialist united front. It was in 1970, when they were finally forced to stop hiding behind China and come out in the open before the working people of this country with their shameful anti-Marxist line.

Now the Communist League is using the same tactics in their attack on the united front and will surely come to the same end. Fortunately for the working class, it is not illiterate, and despite what the CL leadership may think, workers are able to think and reason for themselves and judge, not only the correctness of China’s views, but most importantly are able to examine Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in the light of the concrete conditions of this country. They do not have to rely on the “geniuses” in CL to tell them what China and the world communist movement says about the united front.

The call about which the People’s Tribune refers to is “A Proposal Concerning the General line of the International Communist Movement” which was published March 30, 1963. This call served as a sharp blow to the revisionist party of the Soviet Union and laid down many of the basic principles upon which the genuine communist parties and organizations are formed. Let’s see what the “Proposal” says about the question of the united front in the imperialist countries:

The proletarian parties in imperialist or capitalist countries must maintain their own ideological, political and organizational independence in leading revolutionary struggles. At the same time, they must unite all the forces that can be united and build a broad united front against monopoly capital and against the imperialist policies of aggression and war. (p.19, FLP ed., 1963)

If this was the only statement the Chinese comrades made on this question of principle, perhaps we could overlook CL’s distortion as an honest mistake. But the CL leadership is very well-read and familiar with the views of the Chinese party. So let us examine another statement they made called “A Comment on the Statement of the Communist Party of the U.S.A.” which served as one of the most important guides for U.S. communists in the struggle against the revisionist leadership of the CPUSA. The statement reads:

The leaders of the CPUSA assert that they are conscious of their international obligations in the heartland of the world’s most powerful and arrogant imperialism. We will of course be glad if they indeed have a correct understanding of their obligations. In the United States there is a powerful working class, there are extensive democratic and progressive social forces, and there are many fair-minded and progressive people in the fields of science, art, journalism, literature and education. In the United States, there are large-scale workers’ struggles, there is the ever growing struggle of the Negro people, and there is the movement for peace, democracy and social progress. In the United States, there is a social basis for a broad united front against monopoly capital and against the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war. (p.16, FLP ed., 1963)

We ask the writers of the Tribune article, is there any way these statements can be interpreted as meaning that the call was directed only at the people in the colonial countries?

We would like to point out that the task of the united front is different depending on the concrete conditions internal to each country. The basis for the united front in this country is not the driving out of foreign imperialists or the carrying out of the democratic revolution as it is in the colonial countries. This was the task of the bourgeois revolution of 1776.

Nor is the united front simply a tactical weapon in the fight against fascism as CL claims, although this is one important part of its work. The anti-imperialist united front, based upon the leadership of the working class in alliance with the revolutionary movements of the nationally oppressed peoples in the U.S., is a strategic weapon for the complete overthrow of U.S. imperialism and its reactionary policies. It leads to the establishment of socialism, i.e., the dictatorship of the proletariat.