Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Union

Red Papers 6: Build the Leadership of the Proletariat and its Party

BWC Pamphlet: Taking the Wrong Path

(Reprinted from the June, 1974 issue of Revolution)

The Black Workers Congress recently published a pamphlet entitled, The Black Liberation Movement, the Black Workers Congress and Proletarian Revolution which, the BWC says, “states to the revolutionary movement and the masses of people in the United States its positions on the Burning Questions facing the proletariat in making revolution and establishing its political ’rule, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”

Overall, we think this pamphlet represents a retreat from the theoretical and political gains of the past, and puts forward a position that can only lead communists to become an isolated and useless sect.

At this crucial stage of the communist movement in this country, the question is, does the BWC put forward a correct line on the burning questions of the movement and point the way forward toward uniting the communist forces around a correct programme to serve as the basis for building the new Communist Party? We think it doesn’t.

Much of the pamphlet deals with the national question and the Black liberation struggle in particular. In other articles which are included in Red Papers 6 we analyze key aspects of this question, and BWC’s wrong line on it. But in discussing this pamphlet, it is important to take up a general point raised by the BWC Chairman in his introduction. “It is especially addressed to advanced Blacks,” he writes, and adds that “we do not apologize for this, because we have primarily worked within the Black liberation struggle, and we feel that as Black communists we have certain special tasks to perform within it.”

Not a Question of Apologizing

The question is not whether BWC should “apologize” for this, but whether BWC correctly views and carries out the “special tasks” of Black communists in addressing themselves “especially to advanced Blacks” and in relation to the Black liberation struggle. The answer, again, is–no.

Besides the general tasks of communists, Black communists have the special task of building the Black liberation movement as an anti-imperialist struggle, in unity with all others fighting the same enemy; and more than that, to infuse communist ideology into it and raise the class consciousness of the masses in this struggle.

A key part of this is to educate Black people to the fact that it is the white bourgeoisie and not the white workers who are responsible for national oppression, and to overcome the hostility and/or indifference towards white workers and white people generally that arises “spontaneously” among the Black masses–that arises, in other words, because of the influence of bourgeois ideology, which puts the blame on white workers for the national oppression that Black people suffer daily.

But this lesson can’t be taught if you don’t really believe it yourself. As Lenin said, writing about communists of an oppressed nation in Russia, “If a Ukrainian Marxist allows himself to be swayed by his quite legitimate and natural hatred of the Great-Russian oppressors to such a degree that he transfers even a particle of this hatred, even if it be only estrangement, to the proletarian cause and proletarian culture of the Great-Russian workers, then such a Marxist will get bogged down in bourgeois nationalism.” (“Critical Remarks on the National Question,” emphasis Lenin’s).

Summing Up the 60s

While BWC makes general statements about the unity of the working class and the antagonism of interests of white workers and the white bourgeoisie, their real attitude toward white people generally comes out when they talk about concrete things. Compare the principle laid out by Lenin above with the following statement from the pamphlet: “In the last half of the 60s Black people proclaimed straight up that if we were to be mashed into the dirt any longer, then the government needed its Army, Navy and police, but no unruly band of civilian whites would insult Black people, north or south, ever again.” (p.21)

The real lesson of the struggle of Black people, including the mass rebellions that erupted across the country in the late 60s, was, in the words of Mao Tse-tung, ”that an extremely powerful revolutionary force is latent in the more than twenty million Black Americans.” And more, these struggles gave tremendous inspiration to masses of oppressed and exploited white people–especially the youth but also many workers–as well as to other oppressed nationalities.

These are the lessons that communists should be summarizing for the people (including “especially to advanced Blacks”), and not the idea that from now on the armed forces will have to crush Black people–unruly civilian whites can’t do it anymore!

Throughout this country’s history, the ruling class has been able to mobilize “unruly civilian whites”–lumpen elements, petty bourgeois forces and even backward white workers–to terrorize Black people. But the crucial question is what class viewpoint do you take in analyzing this, and do you consistently expose the fact that such acts are only in the interests of the ruling class and in no way represent the interests and aspirations of the masses of white working people.

Lenin had the same argument with the Bundists–Jewish separatist “Marxists”–in Russia. They attacked the Bolsheviks for putting out what the Bundists called the “dangerous fable” that anti-Semitism and the massacres of Jews were, as Lenin put it, “connected with the bourgeois strata and their interests, and not with those of the working class.”

Lenin upheld the correct position that anti-Semitism represented the bourgeoisie and not the proletariat. “The social character of anti-Semitism,” he said, “is not changed by the fact that dozens’ or even hundreds of unorganized workers, nine-tenths of whom are still quite ignorant, take part in a pogrom (massacre).” But BWC essentially adopts the stand of the Bundists. This is all the more serious exactly because they are addressing themselves “especially to advanced Blacks.”

Advanced Blacks who are drawn toward socialism want to know if the working class can actually be united for socialist revolution, and in particular, whether white workers can be won to the fight against national oppression. They want and need to be shown how this has happened in the past, and is happening today, as well as what actually stands in the way of building this unity. But they won’t find these answers in the BWC pamphlet.

A Defeatist Analysis

Where, for example, is an analysis of the great struggles (of the U.S. working class in the 1930s, a period marked not only by a high degree of trade union militancy and the successful organizing of industrial unions, but also by many instances of white workers united with Black people in the fight against national oppression–including the campaign to free the Scottsboro Boys and struggles against discrimination’’?

Instead of any discussion of this, the BWC pamphlet simply says that in the years following WWI, when Blacks joined the work force in the North in large numbers for the first time, “although there were instances of class solidarity, more often than not, white workers saw the emerging Black proletariat as competition and consequently saw Black workers rather than the capitalists as the enemy.”

The BWC puts forward this kind of one-sided and defeatist analysis because what they are promoting is not really the unity of the working class–despite some general expressions in favor of it–but the development of Black struggle separate from and above the class struggle. So, while noting the transformation of Black people from mainly»peasants to mainly workers in the period after WW2, and stating that there is a multinational proletariat in the U.S., the BWC doesn’t really base itself on the importance of this.

For example, in summarizing what they regard as the three most important aspects of the Black national question in the U.S. today, the BWC does not even include as one of these three points that Black workers, while part of an oppressed nation, are also part of the single U.S. multinational working class.

Emphasizing Advances

Especially in addressing itself to Black people, the BWC should emphasize this very point and stress the tremendous advances for the masses of Black working people, and the whole working class in the U.S., that result from the fact that millions of Black workers now work in the same factories, and other work places with white workers and workers of other nationalities, and that despite divisions the bourgeoisie has created and tries to maintain in the class, workers of all nationalities do unite to carry on daily struggle against the capitalist exploiters, on one level or another. This must be pointed out as part of building the struggle against all national oppression, and winning the class as a whole to this fight, as a crucial part of raising its class consciousness and developing its revolutionary unity.

But this is apparently not BWC’s objective. Instead, they present the Black people’s struggle as essentially a movement aimed at establishing Black control of the “Black Belt,” in order to decide on the question of secession. And they put this forward even though they acknowledge that Black people are “dispersed from our historic homeland, the ’Black Belt’ South,” (p. 15) and they offer no evidence that Blacks are a majority there now (which they aren’t.)

In their insistence on separating the national struggle from the class struggle–and raising the democratic right of self-determination above the class struggle and interests of the proletariat, they even go so far as to say that “the right of self-determination for the Afro-American people is an absolute right.” (p. 19, emphasis ours) This is not a communist stand, but shows, again, that BWC has gotten ̶-;bogged down in bourgeois nationalism.”

Contrary to BWC’s insistence, the right of self-determination is not an absolute for communists. As Stalin wrote in 1923, “In addition to the right of nations to self-determination, there is also the right of the working class to consolidate its power, and the right of self-determination is subordinate to this latter right. There are cases when the right of self-determination conflicts with another, a higher right–the right of the working class that has come to power to consolidate its power. In such cases–this must be said bluntly–the right of self-determination cannot and must not serve as an obstacle to the working class in exercising its right to dictatorship.”

Nationalism or Internationalism

Emphasizing this point–especially when addressing themselves to Blacks and not insisting that self-determination is an “absolute right”–this is the special task of Black communists in relation to the question of self-determination, just as it is the special task of white communists, in dealing ’with the question of self-determination, and in addressing themselves especially to white workers, to uphold the right of self-determination. But BWC is so bent on presenting the essence of the Black people’s struggle as a “patriotic” movement aimed at establishing Black power in the “Black Belt,” that they lose all sight of their duties as communists, as representatives of the multinational (and international) proletariat, first and above all.

This stand carries over to their analysis of the workers’ movement and the “special tasks” of Black communists within it. They don’t emphasize the struggle that Black communists must wage against bourgeois nationalist influences among Black workers, despite a token reference, without any concrete analysis of its effects. Nor is any concrete guidance offered on how to fight bourgeois nationalism. Instead, characterizing the main error of “Black communists in the trade unions” as “Black leftism,”–falling into the viewpoint of the “pure proletarian class struggle,” BWC criticizes such Black communists for failing to fight for the “leading role of Black workers in the trade union movement and the Black liberation struggle generally.”

In the recent past, when the RU criticized “Black Workers Take the Lead” as a slogan that emphasized national distinctions in the class, the BWC retorted that the RU was blowing this all out of proportion, strongly suggesting that they raised this slogan only in relation to the Black liberation struggle itself. (In documents in Red Papers 6, the RU explains why we feel this slogan is incorrect as applied to the workers’ movement and even in general to the Black liberation struggle, and how it actually promotes sectarianism toward non-proletarian strata of Black people as well as bourgeois nationalism. We don’t have space to repeat those arguments here.)

But in this pamphlet the BWC makes clear that they do hold to the substance of this slogan, that they are bent on emphasizing national distinctions in the class, and that they actually view leadership not as a matter of line (Marxism-Leninism) but of nationality.

Again, in addressing themselves “especially to advanced Blacks,” BWC stresses not the struggle against bourgeois nationalism among Black people, but the struggle against white chauvinism, (see p.48) Here, once more, they deviate from the communist stand, and specifically from the correct view of the “special tasks” of communists of the oppressor and the oppressed nation.

The correct principle was laid out by Stalin, who stated that, “When it is said that the fight against Great-Russian chauvinism must be made the corner-stone of the national question, the intention is to indicate the duties of the Russian Communist; it implies that it is the duty of the Russian Communist himself to combat Russian chauvinism. If the struggle against Russian chauvinism were undertaken not by the Russian but by the Turkestanian or Georgian Communists, it would be interpreted as anti-Russian Chauvinism. That would confuse the issue and strengthen Great-Russian chauvinism.”

This, of course, does not mean that Black communists should not and cannot oppose white chauvinism, but that their main duty especially when addressing themselves to Blacks, is to combat bourgeois nationalism, while the main duty of white communists, especially in addressing themselves to whites is to combat white chauvinism.

“Black Leftism” Main Error?

Has it been true in the past few years that the main error of Black revolutionaries and communists in the working class has been characterized by the “disease of ’black leftism’” and viewing everything as simply the “pure proletarian class struggle”? This may or may not have been the case when Harry Haywood wrote these phrases more than 40 years ago, but BWC is not correct in characterizing this as the main danger in recent years.

This is a real tendency, but as exemplified by the line of the BWC itself at this point, the main error of Black revolutionaries in the workers’ movement has been in the opposite direction–in the direction of bourgeois nationalism. Take, for example, the development of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, which, according to BWC, “played a key role in inspiring the Black Liberation Movement and spreading Marxist-Leninist ideas among Black workers and workers in general.” This is certainly true. The development of the League does represent a significant advance for the Black liberation struggle and the overall workers’ movement. But it is also true that the League’s line was strongly influenced by bourgeois nationalism.

The BWC, again, makes token reference to this, saying the League made errors of “succumbing in many respects to bourgeois nationalism.” But BWC doesn’t analyze any of the content of this bourgeois nationalism, and more than that they don’t analyze why the League was influenced by bourgeois nationalism.

BWC cannot make that analysis because that would undermine BWC’s present line.

The League was clearly, in the words of BWC, “revolutionary nationalist.” And according to BWC, the revolutionary nationalist is distinguished from the bourgeois nationalist by .virtue of the fact that the revolutionary nationalist opposes capitalism, while the bourgeois nationalists “want to accommodate black people to the capitalist system in one form or another.” (p. 10) But what about the points from the program of DRUM (a part of the League), which demanded that the UAW place its money in “Black Banks” and other “Black institutions”? (from the Inner City Voice, April 1, 1970) Didn’t this tail behind the Black bourgeoisie and, in the final analysis, reflect a bourgeois nationalist stand?

Does this mean that the League was therefore bourgeois nationalist and not revolutionary nationalist? No–and in the same program there were many points which were clearly anti-imperialist, revolutionary, and in the interests of the whole class.

This shows that there is no such thing as a “third ideology” which is neither bourgeois nor proletarian. Revolutionary nationalism is not, as the BWC claims, an ideology or a class stand, and certainly not proletarian ideology. As we said in Red Papers 6, revolutionary nationalism “must be seen dialectically, as something in motion, something that must move toward and eventually make a leap to a higher form of consciousness, class consciousness, or at some point it will fall back into bourgeois nationalism.”

This is so because it contains two aspects, the revolutionary aspect and the nationalist aspect which is bourgeois ideology in the final analysis. “One of these aspects,” Red Papers 6 continues, “must eventually win out. It is the duty of communists to unite with the progressive, or revolutionary aspect, build it and advance it to a proletarian outlook, to overcome the bourgeois aspect.”

The BWC fails to really analyze the League from a Marxist-Leninist stand, and as part of this fails to analyze why, while playing an extremely progressive role for several years, the League was at the same time strongly influenced by bourgeois nationalism.

The reason is that the League arose at a time when, owing to the uneven development of the national and class struggles, there was a strong tendency in the Black liberation movement, and the revolutionary movement generally, to downplay or deny the revolutionary role and potential of white workers and to hold that Black people could make revolution in the U.S., in alliance with other liberation movements around the world, but without the rest of the working class–or at least without the white workers.

Within the League itself, there were contradictory ideas and practice in relation to white workers, but this tendency was clearly a strong influence. The BWC does not sum this up, because, when you get down to it, they are still putting forward essentially this same tendency, despite token statements about the unity of the working class, proletarian ideology, etc.

The BWC line on the workers’ movement and the overall revolutionary movement not only falls into bourgeois nationalism, but also into sectarianism and dogmatism. For example, BWC declares that the labor aristocracy must be excluded from the united front because not only the top trade union officials, but “highly skilled workers who are bought off by imperialism”, are enemies of the people, (p. 41) This is true, if you are talking about the Meanys, Woodcocks, Brennans, Abels and their like–many of whom are actually capitalists themselves–but what does BWC mean when it talks about “highly skilled workers who are bought off by imperialism?” Plumbers? Carpenters? Electricians? Engineers? Does BWC actually think that the petty bourgeoisie can be united with, but these strata cannot?

BWC doesn’t say who it is talking about, but simply lumps skilled workers (and we don’t know what they mean by “highly” skilled) together with “the big labor bureaucrats” and declare them all enemies, just as they lump bigshot Black politicians and opportunist Black “leaders” together with Black businessmen (above the “ma and pa store” level) and on this basis declare the whole Black bourgeoisie “comprador” and counter-revolutionary.

In none of this does BWC make any concrete analysis, but the effect of its line definitely would be to narrow the united front and to push into the enemy camp forces-including skilled workers and even many Black businessmen–that the proletariat must win over or at least neutralize in the revolutionary struggle.

This kind of dogmatism and sectarianism, which may appear very “left” but is really very rightist, characterizes the BWC’s general analysis of the workers’ movement and the role of trade unions in particular. BWC runs down the long-established communist principles that unions are basic defense organizations of the workers, and that communists must work within them, but must not limit their work and their line to trade unionism. But, in explaining why “trade unions are not what they used to be in Engels time” (the 19th century), that is, why trade unions in a country like the U.S. today don’t even really defend the short-run economic interests of the workers, let alone represent their long-term revolutionary interests, the BWC “analysis” is limited to generalizations about how the development of capitalism into imperialism in the 20th century has led to the creation of a labor aristocracy that betrays the workers’ interests, and how, in the “declining stages” of imperialism, “the government moves to bring the trade unions more directly under its control.” (p. 46, emphasis in original.)

This is simplistic from two aspects. First, because within the trade union movement there have been reactionary leaders who sold out the workers and generally had their base among the craft workers, even before the development of imperialism-though the imperialists have built on this and strengthened their ties with the labor officials.

But second, and more important, the BWC completely leaves out any mention of the great struggles to organize industrial unions in the 1930’s–when imperialism was definitely in great crisis and decline.

Are the workers supposed to conclude that because imperialism and the labor aristocracy were fully developed in the U.S. at that time, the organization of the trade unions then was a waste of time, a needless sacrifice by millions, that was bound to lead to defeat and betrayal? This is all they could conclude from the BWC line. And by taking this line, instead of analyzing dialectically the development of the CIO unions, the BWC actually fails to make the most convincing argument for the limitation of trade unions.

The organization of the CIO in the 30s was a great step forward for the working class of this country, but it was not enough. As long as the bourgeoisie retains state power and control of the means of production, they can turn any gain for the working class into its opposite.

The workers have experienced how this has happened with the industrial unions. The duty of communists is to raise this experience to rational knowledge and in this way give the workers an even firmer understanding of the limitations of trade unions and the need for socialist revolution. But the one-sided, mechanical approach of the BWC, and the complete absence of any analysis of the most important period of experience of the workers in building trade unions in this country, can only demoralize workers and cannot help to build their revolutionary consciousness.

Yet Another Confusion

One final point on the BWC’s sectarian line on building the workers’ movement. Their “strategy” calls for winning the advanced workers to communism and “then developing the rank and file workers movement” (p. 48, our emphasis) instead of working to do both at the same time by linking communism with the practical workers’ struggles.

To implement this “strategy” they call for the formation’ of “anti-imperialist workers’ groups” which must be “organized around a concrete political program, including a strong Marxist-Leninist study program.” These groups must not only “engage in mass revolutionary struggle, but must also conduct merciless and unremitting criticism and exposure of the traitorous trade union bureaucrats, revisionists, and Trotskyites, so that the workers can be able to distinguish genuine Marxism from sham Marxism.” (p. 48, emphasis in original)

It is absolutely crucial to organize Marxist study circles for workers, to expose the revisionists, Trots and other fake “revolutionaries” and to enable workers to distinguish genuine from sham Marxism. But these are the tasks of communists, and cannot be carried out by anti-imperialist workers’ groups without narrowing these groups to include only communists–and in that case what is the need for the anti-imperialist groups?

With this approach, the BWC has actually resurrected in a “left” form the very “cadre/mass” combination that it blasts as “an erroneous and opportunistic concept.”(p. 28)

No Party Without the Working Class

Dogmatism and sectarianism–“left” in form, extremely rightist in essence–also characterize the BWC line on party-building. BWC’s opportunism on this question can be clearly seen in what they omit from Stalin’s Foundations of Leninism, summarizing what the party of the working class is, specifically on the first of Stalin’s points–the party is the advanced detachment of the class. Stalin treats this dialectically, dealing with both aspects–the party is advanced and it is a detachment of the class.

But in paraphrasing this first point, the BWC completely leaves out the second part, that the party must be a detachment of the class and not divorced from it. This is unmistakable in comparing the BWC’s paraphrase (p. 3-5, point 1), to the section from Stalin they are paraphrasing (Foundations of Leninism, “The Party,” pp. 103-106), where Stalin stresses that “The Party cannot lead the class if it is not connected with the non-Party masses, if there is no bond between the Party and the non-Party masses, if these masses do not accept its leadership, if the Party enjoys no moral and political credit among the masses.”

BWC does not see fit to include this part from Stalin, under the first point, because they have adopted the line of building a paper party in isolation from the masses and their struggles. Of course, BWC pays lip service to work in the mass movement–“The mass movement will not ’wait for us’” they admit (p. 37)–but then they turn around and repudiate all work in the mass movement up till now as ’bowing to spontaneity” because there is no party–“we communists must get our thing together first and the first thing we must get together is the Party–the only weapon the proletariat has.”(p.38)

We want to stress again that the RU holds that the central task for communists has now become the building of the Party, and all genuine Marxist-Leninists must unite around a correct programme to build this Party. But a genuine Party can only be established by building on the advances and the summation of communist work in the mass movement over the past period, and through ideological struggle to achieve’’ unity on the basis of this summation. A true vanguard cannot be built by repudiating that work in the mass movement, as the BWC does.

Their characterization of what that work has represented would be comical if it weren’t criminal. “Communists are turned into robots” by working in the mass movement (at least before there’s a Party), according to the BWC. “Press the magic button and watch us run,” they add, complaining that those who put forward the “theory” of “building the mass movement” insist that the communists must link up with the struggles of women, veterans, the unemployed, the students, workers on strike and so on. (p. 37)

A Telling Caricature

“Workers go on strike at a given plant,” the BWC writes, “and we are told ’rush to the workers,’ ’hold some meetings with them.’” Well, even though BWC thinks they have presented a clever caricature here, we would like to ask, what is the matter with going to the workers, uniting with them in their struggles and raising their consciousness? After all, Lenin, in drawing up a draft programme for the Party in Russia (at a time before the Party had been established), wrote that “The Party’s task is not to concoct some fashionable means of helping the workers, but to join up with the workers’ movement, to bring light into it, to assist the workers in the struggle they themselves have already begun to wage.” And Lenin insisted that the Marxists in Russia must do this, even before there was a Party.

But BWC’s picture of this work is completely off the wall. Take the Farah strike, for example. This developed into a struggle of tremendous importance, a great inspiration, to the entire working class, Chicanos and other oppressed people. Were the RU and other communist forces wrong in uniting with the Farah strikers, building support for their strike around the country, helping to draw for as many workers and others possible the important lessons of this strike, and putting it in the context of the overall struggle for socialism?

Did we only take this up because all over the country workers were spontaneously rising to support the Farah strike and we couldn’t resist “bowing to their spontaneity”? Should we have stood aloof from this struggle because we communists haven’t got “our thing together” yet? Apparently, BWC thinks so, but this only reveals the bankruptcy of their line.

Or take the student movement. Were students all over the country “spontaneously” re-grouping to form a multinational, anti-imperialist student organization? Did the RU unite with others to begin building the Attica Brigade because, again, we just couldn’t help ourselves–we saw a spontaneous struggle and we just had to bow to it? Is it significant that the Attica Brigade is being built across the country and developing as an anti-imperialist multinational student organization including communist forces within it?

Apparently, BWC thinks this is insignificant, too, because, in their section on the student movement, they make no mention of the Attica Brigade, and instead of offering any concrete guidance to the students in their struggle, instead of actually giving proletarian leadership, they preach to the students that they can only continue to play a progressive role if they place themselves “under the leadership of the proletariat and its vanguard–the genuine Communist Party.” (p.53)

This, again, only shows the sectarianism and dogmatism of the BWC line. The same must be said of its comments on the veterans’ struggles (BWC doesn’t even mention the importance of veterans as a progressive force among young workers and youth generally), the women’s struggle for liberation (which, according to BWC, must “first and foremost be linked to the struggle to build a genuine Communist Party,” p. 51), and to BWC’s position on other mass movements it bothers itself to comment on.

All this makes it very clear that despite its attempt to cover itself with empty phrases about working in the mass movement, the BWC has nothing but contempt for the masses, reducing everything to the need for communists to get “our thing together.”

Yes, we will work in the mass movement, says BWC, when we get our Party together, but in the meantime you must stop distracting us with the needs of the masses and stop insisting that we “seize on tasks ’we are not in a position to carry out,” or you will only “wind up demoralizing and wearing down the already worn-down cadres.” (p.38)

Raising Weakness to a Principle

BWC should not raise its own weaknesses to a general characterization of the communist movement, or look at things subjectively and one-sidedly, seeing only the inadequacies of the communists relative to the needs of the mass movement, and ignoring the advances the communists have made in sinking roots in that mass movement, and in learning from it by applying Marxism-Leninism to it. What is leading BWC to become a sect now is not its level of organization, or its size, but its line and its stand toward the masses.

We have to point out that, summing up the advances that have been made by communist forces in applying communism to the mass movement, but recognizing at the same time the primitiveness of the communist movement in relation to the needs and demands of the mass movement, the RU proposed almost 9 months ago, to BWC and the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization (PRRWO), that our three organizations, which appeared at the time to have achieved a high degree of ideological and political unity, should work closely together to unite all who can be united around a Marxist-Leninist programme to form the new Party as soon as possible.

BWC and PRRWO insisted instead that “we should strengthen the role and work of the BWC and PRRWO in the revolutionary national movements and as Communist organizations as a first step towards party building.” (from BWC “Criticism” of RU National Bulletin 13)

The RU argued that strengthening the role of Black, Puerto Rican, and other “third world” communists (of BWC, PRRWO, RU and other forces) in the movements of their peoples, and strengthening the role of all communists in the general workers’ movement and the overall united front, could best be accomplished by uniting all who can be united to form the Party, as an immediate task. But BWC and PRRWO, falling into bourgeois nationalism and insisting on their special role in any communist party, rejected this and began attacking RU as “racist,” “national chauvinist,” “opportunist,” etc.

No doubt recognizing that their arguments in support of their position on “revolutionary nationalism” and “Black Workers Take the Lead” would not get over, BWC and PRRWO went in search of other “theoretical” justifications for their opportunism. This has led them into a full retreat from the needs and struggles of the masses, from a Marxist-Leninist stand, and further, into the position of promoting dogmatism and sectarianism and tailing after bourgeois nationalism.

This is what is represented by the BWC pamphlet, The Black Liberation Movement, The Black Workers Congress and Proletarian Revolution.

This line may make it possible for the BWC, and PRRWO, to unite with opportunist forces–like the “Communist League”–and the move to this position was quick and easy for BWC and PRRWO, once they followed in the footsteps of groups like “CL” and divorced themselves from the actual needs of the masses and isolated themselves from building the mass movement. But with this line BWC and PRRWO can only contribute to building a sect, not to building a genuine Communist Party, a revolutionary workers’ movement and a united front under proletarian leadership.

For this reason, all those who recognize the need to build a vanguard Party capable of leading the masses and built by uniting all who can be united around a correct line and programme should study, criticize and repudiate the line represented by this BWC pamphlet, and conduct sharp and principled struggle with BWC, and PRRWO, to defeat this line, and, if possible, win them away from it.

This can play an important part in achieving ideological clarity and the unity of all forces, groups and individuals that can be united to form a genuine vanguard to lead the class and the masses to victory.