Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Ann Arbor Student Movement

Revolution! Not Reforms!

Published: Ann Arbor Student, “Organ of the AASM, local unit of the ASM under the leadership of the ACWM (ML),” Vol. 2, no. 2, March 30, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The 60’s were a great decade of revolutionary struggle all over the world, crowned by the victory of the heroic Vietnamese people against the U.S. imperialist, aggressors.

In the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America revolutionary wars of national liberation have inflicted severe defeats on the forces of imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism.

Revolutionary struggle for national liberation are in this period linked together more than ever and the solemn statement of Chairman Mao: “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, UNITE AND DEFEAT THE U.S. AGGRESSORS AND ALL THEIR RUNNING DOGS!” was the final sum up and revolutionary program of 1970 of the tremendous progress made by the people of the whole world against the forces of imperialism and all reaction.

In the countries of the Western world, in Europe and North America, the great modern proletariat and other oppressed classes and sections of the population have from one side continuously embarked in class struggle against the various monopoly capitalist classes. From the other side, inspired by the Albanian Party of labor and the Chinese Communist Party, they have launched a relentless struggle against the revisionist parties and modern revisionism which is today the major enemy within the ranks of the oppressed people and whose aim is to replace revolutionary class struggle with class collaboration and so reform capitalism instead of destroying it and replace the revolutionary aspiration of the working class for socialism and communism with revisionism and social-democracy.

These struggles have enormously facilitated and released the revolutionary initiative of the oppressed masses, who various times attacked directly the capitalist system with mass uprisings and have led to the formation in almost all countries of the world of new revolutionary communist parties and movements based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in opposition to the counter-revolutionary revisionist parties.

Today there is no country in the entire globe from one hemisphere to the other, in which the masses of the oppressed people are not waving the revolutionary red flag, the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and waging class struggle to reach their final emancipation from foreign overlords and internal reactionaries and establish socialism and communism.

It is due to this inexhaustible, irresistible and valiant struggle of the people of the whole world who are waging revolutionary wars and wars of national liberation that the reactionary forces led by U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionist social imperialism are carrying out more and more ferocious aggression against the people of the world in. the vain attempt to stop revolutionary years.

Here in the U.S., the heartland of imperialism, the U.S. monopoly capitalist class is consolidating fascism in every aspect of the social, economic and political life in carrying out military aggression abroad and violent repression at home.

During the sixties a tremendous spontaneous anti-fascist and anti-imperialist mass movement, initiated by the students and Afro-American people swept the entire country from coast to coast. The direct targets of this were the imperialist war in Indochina and the racial discrimination and in essence it was a spontaneous mass rebellion against the consolidation of fascism by the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. From mere denunciations and demonstrations it developed into enormous mass demonstrations, battles of resistance against the fascist repression, upsurges in which thousands upon thousands of people took part all over the country. From the limited target of the Imperialist war in Indochina, in the latter sixties the mass movement has put into question the entire monopoly capitalism system from its roots.

The black people have particularly contributed in creating an atmosphere of rebellion and so inspired all other oppressed people.

The students played an important and leading role in this spontaneous revolutionary awakening which is a glorious turning point in the history of the American working class and people. The students have initiated this mass movement in the university against the decadent bourgeois educational system rejecting the fascist ideology taught in the classroom. With a deep proletarian internationalist spirit they have opposed the imperialist war in Indochina and their upsurge has given rise to mass support from the entire American people.

This revolutionary spontaneous mass movement has very much strengthened the ties between the struggle of the American working class and people and that of the people of the whole world.

But this mass movement was without a revolutionary leadership and as soon as it took place the state machine of the monopoly capitalists from one side carried out violent repression and from the other made various attempts to take over from within with the infiltration of fascists and social-fascists (socialist in words and fascist in deeds) whose only role it was to confuse and mystify the struggle and to divert the attention from carrying out the consequences of the struggle. These agents have negated and opposed the revolutionary sentiment of the fighting masses and have diverted the attention to single issues and petty reforms to save monopoly capitalism; so the leadership of the mass movement fell into those organizations which prevented the masses from drawing lessons and consequences from their struggle, to sum it up and direct it against the main enemy the monopoly capitalist class, instead, they rallied around single issues or petty reforms, mystified the nature of capitalist society and the way to finally get rid of capitalist oppression and exploitation, From the other side the revolutionary trend was represented by those sincere revolutionaries who had deep hatred against the U.S. imperialist ruling class and were firmly decided to carry their struggle against it through to the end. In search of the way to move forward their struggle these revolutionaries linked their struggle with that of the people of the world, took an active attitude to analyze the concrete conditions of the American people and the way to reach their emancipation. The great example of the Vietnamese people and that of the Chinese people during the Great proletarian cultural revolution, have greatly inspired them and the light of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought that has swept the entire North American continent was taken up by them. From spontaneous struggle against the U.S. imperialist war in Indochina they drew lessons, summed up their experience and with the light of revolutionary ideology found out that the main enemy is the U.S. monopoly capitalist class, all its agents among the people, the various reformist and revisionist organizations and that the only way to win emancipation is to organize anti-fascist proletarian revolution and not reforms.

The sixties were then characterized by this struggle between the opportunist trend and revolutionary one of Marxism-Leninism; class struggle that has been intensified year by year till today; it was the period in which in North America as well as all over the world the working class and people have seen clearly that the only solution to their problem is revolutionary war.

The immediate task of all sincere revolutionaries and Marxist-Leninists was then that of building the party of the proletariat in struggling to repudiate reformism and revisionism and their influence among the revolutionary ranks and among the masses. This was the main result achieved during the struggle of the sixties.

The latter sixties have seen the formation of various revolutionary communist organisations in North America; the formation of the Canadian Communist Movement (Marxist-Leninist) which gave rise in 1970 to the formation of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Quebec (Marxist-Leninist); the formation of the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) in 1969, the Communist League in 1968, and other revolutionary organizations in the U.S.. This was an important achievement made by the North American, proletariat towards its final emancipation. The party of the proletariat has not yet been built in the U.S. but the fact that various Marxist-Leninist organizations and sincere revolutionaries have recently united to build it is a proof that it will certainly be built in the near future.

The lesson drawn from more than ten years of revolutionary struggle is the necessity to organize revolution and not reforms; this means now to fight modern revisionism and to build a revolutionary communist party based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought that will lead the American working class and people to the final overthrow of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and it will establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and so put the basis for socialism and communism.

Today in the seventies still various social fascist groups and organisation are around to propagate reformism and revisionism – to enslave the American people to the interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. This reformist trend has in various ways influenced the students too, Today in the campus various organizations are promoting the same slavish ideology of reforming monopoly capitalism instead of working to destroy it. In the campus this has taken the form of propagating the ideas that the students can through elections build a free and democratic university controlled by the students; and that electing some “wise” reformer to the City Hall we can have people’s government! Elections in general in capitalist society are nothing else than a tool in the hands of the bourgeoisie to oppress the masses of people in the attempt to enslave them to bourgeois politics of saving capitalism through reforms. As Comrade Lenin pointed out in the bourgeois elections the oppressed, are allowed, once, very few years, “to decide which particular representative of the oppressing class should be in parliament to represent and repress them!” Campus elections and City elections are of the same nature. In propagating the idea of “control of the university by the students”, or the City Hall, or in propagating other petty reforms it is to negate the revolutionary aspirations of the students, it is to mystify the role of the University and the nature of monopoly capitalism, and so in essence this propaganda for reforms is monopoly capitalist propaganda to enslave the students.

It is not with campus elections that students will solve their problems. These elections in campus do not fool anybody and in fact only a tiny minority of students vote: in the last year election, only 7% of the students voted! And this is not because students are apathetic, as is stated in various Michigan Daily editorials, but because they have seen the bankruptcy of these elections that in essence serve only the University Administration. They have seen the bankruptcy of various reformist organizations and their sinking to more and more degeneration. The idea of control of the University by students is a sham less, dream propagated by the agents of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class to further oppress the students and keep them inactive from revolutionary politics.

The university is a direct tool of the dictatorship of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and so cannot be reformed or changed to a free and democratic institution of learning till the class that controls it today is overthrown.

This electoral politics and propaganda in the campus both for the Student Government Council and for the City hall is in essence bourgeois politics which only serve the interests of the monopoly capitalist class and not those of the students; its only aim is to reform monopoly capitalism, i.e., smooth the social contradictions, and deceive the students and so keep them slaves of the dream that the electoral process will solve all our problems.

What we students have learned during the struggle of the sixties is that our enemy is the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and that our only possible way to get rid of the oppression in the university is to come under the leadership of the working class and its party and take an active part in the anti-fascist proletarian revolution.

Revolution is the main trend in the world today and this is what we have learned in the last few years!

Today the trend among students is not that of engaging in reformist politics but is one of actively participating in the mass democratic anti-fascist proletarian revolution!