Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

August 29th Movement

Opening Statement to the Second Congress of the August 29th Movement (M-L)


First Published: Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 1, No. 9, October 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The following are excerpts from the opening address of the historic Second Congress of the August 29th Movement (M-L). This Congress was held in the summer.

Since the time of our historic Unity Congress much change has occurred in the world. The crisis which we pointed to in our documents has intensified to an unprecedented degree resulting in tremendous unemployment and mass suffering, comparable only to the “Great Depression” of the 1930's. By the capitalists own admission millions of workers remain jobless in spite of al their chatter about “recovery”. However the working class has not taken this situation lying down. The use of the strike as the principal means of workers struggle is on the rise – witness the recent San Francisco City workers strike, the Teamsters strike, the Rubber Workers Strike, and the inspirational strike and struggle of the BFI workers. Let us applaud their determination and their will to win!

The only “recovery” that we have witnessed in the past two years is the “recovery” of the capitalists blood money – their profits. For instance, General Motors has had a profit increase of 1200% this year Meanwhile more than 27% of U.S. industrial plant capacity sits idle – not because people have enough to satisfy their basic wants, but because to open these plants to production, to provide jobs for the unemployed would cut into capitalist profits – such is the contradiction of capitalism which makes its overthrow inevitable and necessary!

The present crisis finds the capitalists in a mad scramble to protect their markets and spheres of influence. The current international situation has undergone some very important changes since our last Congress. While the revolutionary struggle against imperialism remains the main trend, the contention between the two superpowers, the U.S. and the USSR, has heightened to a dangerous degree making a world war between them highly probable.

Since 1974 the USSR, because of its aggressiveness and militaristic and fascistic government has become the MAIN danger to world peace. In the face of all of this we must get prepared. It is no longer sufficient to merely talk about the war danger, we must begin now to warn and mobilize the masses against this danger Especially must we intensify our efforts to build our new revolutionary Bolshevik Party in close conjunction with our efforts to rouse the masses against imperialist War preparations.

Comrades, let us rejoice! Since our last Congress the heroic peoples of VietNam, Cambodia and Laos have lifted the mountains of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism off of their backs. THEIR VICTORIES BELONG TO US ALL!

We have more reasons to rejoice. In Peoples China the masses, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China under the wise guidance of(the late)Chairman Mao, have rooted out and exposed the capitalist roader Teng Hsiao-ping, brought his reactionary and revisionist line out into the light of day and consolidated the dictatorship of the proletariat. Let us applaud this wonderful victory of the Chinese people, of the Chinese Communist Party, and of Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

In Albania the working masses are celebrating their development as the PEOPLES SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA. They have overcome capitalist and revisionist encirclement and blockade to build a thriving socialist land. LET US APPLAUD THE VALIANT ALBANIAN PEOPLE, and the Marxist-Leninist Party of Labor of Albania under the firm and correct leadership of Comrade Enver Hoxha!

Since our Congress last convened the fascist forces in this country have continued to grow. THE DANGER OF FASCISM HAS INCREASED1 As the capitalists witness their own death they become desperate to survive. Realizing that the stormy decade of the 60's provided just a taste of what is to come, they are getting prepared. Let us have no illusions comrades. Communists will be the first and hardest hit by the fascist onslaught. Therefore we must be prepared. Since the movements of the oppressed nationalities for their rights have historically dealt the sharpest blows to imperialism, the capitalists make special efforts to contain and suppress those struggles. The wanton killing of oppressed nationalities has undergone a serious increase in scope and breadth since our last Congress. ALL COMMUNISTS MUST TAKE UP THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE INCREASING REPRESSION OF THE OPPRESSED NATIONALITIES. Refusal to do so exposes as hypocrites all those who call themselves “revolutionaries” and “Communists”!

In May 1974 we laid out that the central task of all Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. was to struggle to build a new anti-revisionist communist party. What has been the progress of this struggle since that time?

First of all we were forced to undertake this task because the once proud revolutionary Party – the Communist Party of the USA has been taken over by the revisionists who accepted the revisionist road charted by the CPSU, applying to U.S. conditions the revisionist strategy and tactics all under the guise of “creative Marxism”. Our experience, and the experience of other comrades, in the trade union movements in the last two years brings home the urgency of exposing revisionism. The CPUSA is not isolated or “dead”. They are very much alive and spreading their poison among the masses. WE CAN HAVE NO REVOLUTION WITHOUT THE COMPLETE IDEOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL DEFEAT OF THE CPUSA! Nor can we have a party worthy of the title of Bolshevik unless we carry out a consistent and ruthless campaign of exposure and struggle against these social-scum!

Within the ranks of the anti-revisionist movement, there have been various attempts to build the new Party. Unfortunately it has been the opportunists who have led these vain attempts. It is important to examine these efforts and to draw the correct lessons from them.

In September of 1974 the Communist League changed its name to the Communist Labor Party. Proceeding from the standpoint of Trotskyism, they failed to unite the honest forces of our movement... The lesson to be learned? A party can be forged only through principled ideological and political struggle and the forging of unity on the political line – WHICH UNITY IS TESTED IN PRACTICE OVER A PROTRACTED PERIOD OF TIME! The building of the party is a long and involved and often tortuous process, just as revolution is a difficult and protracted struggle – our party will be firm only if Marxist-Leninists forge their unity in the heat of mass struggle, as well as in the ideological struggle with opportunism.

The second opportunist attempt to build an anti-revisionist party was that of the Revolutionary Union. We warned the movement back in 1974 about the danger posed by the RU. True to what we said the RU eventually formed their party based on a line of economism and disgusting national chauvinism.... The lessons?

We must wage a resolute fight against all manifestations of economism and chauvinism lest we too degenerate into the same swamp as the RCP who now carry on their class struggle by collaborating with city councilmen and district attorneys, (their practice in the BFI strike). Furthermore we must never belittle the role of Marxist-Leninist theory in the manner of the RCP. Theory is as important to us as the air we breath and the food we eat.

Over the past couple of years the October League has gone from a secondary danger in the anti-revisionist movement into the principal danger. Growing in strength and influence they have developed an extensive-apparatus for disseminating their opportunist political line and for organizing around it. This fall they will declare themselves the “party”. They too, will have failed to unite with any national groups – forging their unity with a few collectives and individuals instead. And they will base this unity on reformism and trade unionism and chauvinism. Comrades, we waited much too long to expose these social-chauvinists. Ignoring the demands of our cadre and comrades we helped the OL escape a searching analysis until much too late in the game. We must rectify our error through intensified theoretical and practical struggle against them in the mass movements and in the communist movement.

Comrades, in the last two years we have made many errors in our party building efforts...

What we failed to recognize was that this was going to be a long and difficult struggle. We became impetuous and wanted to build a party without the requisite process of forging solid unity tested in political practice over an extended period of time. How else are we to test words and deeds, line and practice? There is no other way. We must strive to lead the communist movement in the development of the party.

What this means is that we must do the following:
1. Develop a plan for party building.
2. Develop a systematic training plan for our cadre.
3. Expand our mass work.
4. Expand the distribution of our newspaper.
[no. 5 missing in original – EROL]
6. Intensify the struggle with opportunism –particularly the October League and the CPUSA.
7. Develop and lay out clearly our line on the most important political questions, along with summations of how we carry it out in practice.