Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

American Communist Workers’ Movement (Marxist-Leninist)

A Short Talk on the History of the ACWM(M-L) and its Method of Work and Organization

Published: The Workers’ Advocate, Vol. 4, No. 4, May 1, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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(The following article is based on talks given at a series of cadre meetings of the ACWM(ML) during April.)


At that time we organized ourselves into a communist movement, with the principle POLITICAL TASK of carrying out the WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION AND LIVING STUDY AND APPLICATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT. The execution of this task was and still is the primary task facing American revolutionaries because the WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION AND LIVING STUDY AND APPLICATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT is the LEADING ASPECT OF BUILDING INSTRUMENTS OF WORKING CLASS PROPAGANDA, the necessary condition for establishing a genuine Marxist-Leninist Party of the proletariat.


The monopoly capitalist class does not want to see MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT disseminated on a wide scale, just as their “new left”, revisionist, trotskyite and opportunist agents of all stripes do not want to see MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT disseminated on a large scale and genuine revolutionary organs of working class propaganda built, Hence the monopoly capitalists use their entire political, military, cultural, social and other apparatus to prevent the WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION AND LIVING STUDY AND APPLICATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT. Thus in order to accomplish this task we have initiated and carried through many MASS DEMOCRATIC, ANTI-FASCIST STRUGGLES in the universities, communities and places of work and participated in the RESISTANCE MOVEMENT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHT TO DISSEMINATE MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT. In order to build revolutionary propaganda organs of the working class it is absolutely necessary that the working class and revolutionary masses see for themselves the necessity of having such organs and that they come forward to build up, sympathize and support and further develop these organs. This is why building these organs is a STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL POWER and this is why we have waged and must continue to wage many many struggles amongst the masses in order to isolate the concrete forms of fascism and social-fascism and release the masses* initiative to deal with the problem of building their own revolutionary organs.

Thus the WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT AND BUILDING OF INSTRUMENTS OF WORKING CLASS PROPAGANDA has necessarily meant and means initiating MASS DEMOCRATIC, ANTI-FASCIST STRUGGLES and these struggles in turn have created large scale EXTERNAL CONSOLIDATION OF THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT. LEARN FROM PEOPLE CAMPAIGNS have been carried out in many areas across the country and many, many struggles waged. Many workers, national minorities and students have come forward to participate in the revolutionary work and various anti-working class, anti-Marxist-Leninist, anti-Party trends were isolated to a certain extent and the masses themselves have taken up BUILDING REVOLUTIONARY INSTITUTIONS OF THE WORKING CLASS.

In the course of our revolutionary work serious struggle developed on the question of WHAT KIND OF INTERNAL ORGANIZATION MUST WE BUILD IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT, that is, what kind of organization is required for LEADING THE REVOLUTION FORWARD. This struggle reached acute proportions in March, 1971.

On one side stood various bureaucrats and anarchists, each claiming to vehemently oppose each other while both stood firmly united against the genuine DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISTS. In essence our struggle to build the internal organization has been a struggle to: 1) build basic units as stable, conscious and self-moving communist groups with a definite material base amongst the masses; 2) build COMMUNIST COMMITTEES at various levels and national leadership, that is, build a collective internal life throughout the organization as a whole and at every single level; 3) base our discipline on the execution of the principle political task and not on anything else (this meant developing the internal life on the basis of a materialist agenda which dealt with the concrete problems facing the organization and the masses in light of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought); 4) take change, development and motion of the organization as absolute and stagnation as relative, that is, discard all forms which become outdated and retain the core and essence of organization as CLASS STRUGGLE TO BUILD THE PARTY AND SERVE PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION; 5) SUM UP EXPERIENCE and continuously advance from a low level to higher levels, discard the dross and concentrate and crystallize the advanced experience and persist in coming under the discipline of the advanced experience. In opposition to the concrete method we are developing of BUILDING COMMUNIST COMMITTEES stands the method of building BOURGEOIS CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEES. The two antagonistic class stands and outlooks are seen in most concentrated form in the attitude the two committees have towards the MARXIST-LENINIST POLITICAL LINE OF THE ACWM(ML) and TOWARDS PROBLEMS THAT ARISE IN EXECUTING AND FURTHER CLARIFYING THE MARXIST-LENINIST POLITICAL LINE. The co-ordination committee is headed by a bourgeois bureaucrat who is intent on keeping the Marxist-Leninist political line from the members and supporters and broad masses. He builds the organization on the basis of liberalism and class peace. The bourgeois bureaucrat parasitizes off the higher bodies and revolutionary methods developed by the organization and refuses to make concrete analysis of concrete conditions in light of the over-all line and policy and advance the work, but instead constantly “freezes” the organization at each level. When problems arise the bourgeois bureaucrat is intent on first suppressing them and hiding them from the members and broad masses and later using them to attack the organization and the Marxist-Leninist political line. The bourgeois bureaucrats are extreme bourgeois individualists and liberals.

That is, they are militant about their own narrow interests and extremely liberal towards the organization and the Marxist-Leninist political line; they are intent on building the organization around anything but the execution of the primary task facing the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary masses. The COMMUNIST COMMITTEE is lead by a COMMUNIST CADRE who is most eager to ARM THE MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS AND BROAD MASSES WITH THE MARXIST-LENINIST POLITICAL LINE AND WITH MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT. The communist cadre ceaselessly works to build the organization on the basis of CLASS STRUGGLE and on MARXISM-LENINISM MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT. He takes the directives of the higher bodies and experience of the organization as the starting point for making concrete analysis of concrete conditions. When problems arise the communist cadre considers this an excellent situation for further purifying and clarifying the organization’s line and methods of work, he makes investigation and on the basis of scientific analysis lays problems before the cadres and broad masses in order to release their initiative to deal with the problems and strengthen the communist committee in the process. While the bourgeois coordination committee is only capable of giving rise to ACTION GROUPS or DIVERSIONARY DISCUSSIONS amongst the masses, the COMMUNIST COMMITTEE builds a basic MARXIST-LENINIST POLITICAL PROGRAM AMONGST THE MASSES.

To illustrate: In Mid 1971 an important meeting was held of all members and supporters of the organization for the purpose of launching a rectification movement. After listening to the correct political line that was given, the bureaucrats were only interested in executing “x number” of tasks and stopping all discussion on the political line. The anarchists, although claiming great opposition to the bureaucrats, were only interested in raising vicious criticism of the organization and various cadres, completely divorced from criticism centered on development and execution of the basic political line. The genuine revolutionaries organized themselves around the correct line and carried out protracted revolutionary work amongst the masses in order to gain experience and lead revolutionary summing up and class struggle inside which could advance the organization to a higher stage, while the bureaucrats and anarchists refused to implement the political line. They engaged in one chance activity after another one irrelevant discussion after another amongst the masses and refused to participate in internal summing up and moving forward. Naturally the same bourgeois individuals find it very difficult to come under the discipline of the advanced experience and they continually try to undermine the organization by whining “my problems aren’t solved yet, therefore there is no leadership”. Likewise they refuse to start from the problem of executing the Marxist-Leninist political line and building the organization but persist in preserving their “own line” and “solving their problems first” and thus seeking to make the entire organization and the revolution subordinate to themselves.

The entire process of struggle to build the ACWM(ML) on the correct DEMOCRATIC CENTRALIST basis, which first became acute in 1971 and has continued right up to today, has created and is creating tremendous material conditions for carrying through to the end the EXECUTION OF OUR PRIMARY POLITICAL TASK OF WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION AND LIVING STUDY AND APPLICATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT AND BUILDING THE INSTRUMENTS OF WORKING CLASS PROPAGANDA. We are defeating the bourgeois bureaucrats and anarchists exactly by building the COMMUNIST COMMITTEES in various places for the SOLE PURPOSE OF EXECUTING THE MARXIST- LENINIST LINE OF THE ORGANIZATION. It is the task of all members and supporter to learn the lessons of our methods of work and organization, learn the lessons of four years of execution of Marxist-Leninist political line and UPHOLD BUILDING THE COMMUNIST ORGANIZATION AS DECISIVE IN CARRYING THROUGH TO THE END THE SACRED TASK OF WIDESCALE DISSEMINATION AND LIVING STUDY AND APPLICATION OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and the LAUNCHING OF FURTHER MASS DEMOCRATIC, ANTI-FASCIST STRUGGLES.