Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Workers League (Marxist-Leninist)

Bolshevik, No. 1

Forward to the U.S. Bolshevik Party


Countries want independence, nations want liberation, people want revolution. This has become an irresistible historical trend.

These famous words accurately sum-up the excellent strategic international alignment of forces for the proletariat and all oppressed in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution.

The defeat of Great Britain as an imperialist power, the crushing of the fascist German empire, the glorious birth of the Soviet Union, the world’s socialist motherland now turned capitalist, the rise of the People’s Republic Of China, Albania, Korea, North and South Vietnam, Cambodia, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau all of these are clear examples of this irresistible trend.

But, comrades, we are Marxist-Leninists, and therefore we have not only a telescope, which enables us to see broadly, see trends in their development, we also possess a microscope, which enable us to go deeply into the particular, to make “concrete analysis of concrete situations”.

And with this microscope of Marxism, the concrete analysis of the current international situation teaches us that:

Profound changes have taken place in the international situation since the 29th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. A serious capitalist economic crisis plagues most parts of the world. All the basic contradictions in the world are further sharpening. The trend of revolution by the people of the world is actively developing. The Asian, African, and the Latin American peoples have advanced valiantly and won a series of significant victories in their struggle against colonialism, imperialism and hegemonism. On the other hand, the contention between the two superpowers has become more and more intense. The whole world is in greater turbulence and unrest. Rhetoric about detente cannot cover the stark reality. The danger of world war is visibly growing. (page 1, Speech by Chiao Kuan-hua, at the Plenary Meeting of the 30th UN General Assembly)

We hope that the people of all countries will heighten their vigilance and get prepared against the growing danger of a new world war. It is better to be prepared than unprepared. Without preparation one will suffer. The superpowers look strong but inwardly weak and very isolated. The more evils they do, the more thoroughly they will reveal their true features, and the stronger the resistance of the people of the world will become. At present, the factors for both war and revolution are both increasing on a world scale. Whether war gives rise to revolution or revolution prevents war in either case the international situation will develop in a direction favourable to the world’s people, And the future will be bright. (p. 9 ibid)

Comrades and friends, it is in this light that we must view the current struggle inside the communist movement in the U.S. For as Marxist-Leninists we understand that the intensification of class struggle is not something that occurs just in the international arena or in the general domestic area; in fact, we clearly grasp the fact that class struggle in the communist movement is a reflection of the international struggle between two classes, two lines and two roads.

Also, we understand that our greatest duty as proletarian internationalists in this superpower is to over throw our “own” bourgeoisie, to make proletarian revolution. And how is it that we fulfill this great historic mission? We believe that our central task is Party Building.

The formation of a Genuine Bolshevik Party is the task, out of all our tasks at this time, which when accomplished, moves forward all our other work toward the strategic onslaught against the bourgeoisie, toward the seizure and maintenance of state power, the basic question of all revolutions.

As we pointed out in our “Principles of Unity”, Comrade Stalin said,

I have already spoken of the difficulties of the struggle of the working class, of the complicated conditions of the struggle, of strategy and tactics, of reserves and maneuvering, of attack and retreat. These conditions are no less complicated, if not more so, than the conditions of war. Who can see clearly in these conditions, who can give correct guidance to the proletarian millions? No army at war can dispense with an experienced General Staff if it does not want to be devoured by its mortal enemies.

But where is this General Staff? Only the revolutionary party of the proletariat can serve as this General Staff. The working class without a revolutionary party is an army without a General Staff.

Many comrades here have probably heard this before, that party building is our central task, even the petty-bourgeois liberals of the October League (OL) say this out of one side of their mouths. But comrades and friends, tonight we’d like to talk about how and what kind of party we’re trying to build, and why this is fundamentally different from the kind of party the O.L. and other opportunists are frenzidly forming, we’d like to talk about building a party of genuine Marxist-Leninists, a party of advanced workers and other elements who have turned themselves into communists and not an organization or party of the petty bourgeoisie, composed of sham Marxists, anarchistic intellectuals and every striker who yells “Fight Back” or “Soul Power”. Tonight, we’re going to talk about building a Bolshevik Party and polemicize the opportunist, Menshevik line on party building.

We will begin this presentation with our view of the current state of the U.S. Communist Movement.


The current state of the anti-revisionist movement in the U.S. is characterized by two wings, a revolutionary wing and an opportunist wing. This division of 1 into 2 is not new, either here or internationally. The First International, led by Marx and Engels, divided into two groupings, one upholding Marxism, the other one was the anarchist, “secret alliance” led by Bakunin. The Second International likewise separated into genuine led by the Great Lenin and the sham led by Kautsky Bernstein and other renegades and social chauvinists.

And in our time, we see that the International Communist movement has split, with the CPC and PLA historically leading the struggle for Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought (MLMTT) against the slimy, double dealing, reactionary revisionists, led by the “CP” SU and its lap dogs like the CPUSA(R).

Comrade Lenin long ago saw the inevitability of this struggle of truth against falsehood, of genuine against sham. He summed both the particular experience in Russia and the general international development as well.

In regard to Russia, he pointed out,

It is in the conflict of trends within the Marxist movement that the petty bourgeois intellectual wing of social democracy has made itself felt, beginning with economism (1895-1903) and continuing with Menshevism (1903-1908) and liquidationism (1908-1914). (Breach of Unity, Collected Works, Vol. 20, p.343)

On the international experience, he summed up,

But after Marxism had ousted all the more or less integral doctrines to it, the tendencies expressed in those doctrines began to seek other channels. The forms and causes of the struggle changed, but the struggle continued. And the second half century of the existence began (in the nineties) with the struggle of a trend hostile to Marxism within Marxism itself. (Marxism and Revisionism, Collected Works, vol. 15, pp. 31-39)

In the U.S. we have seen the truth of this analysis. The anti-revisionist movement developed in 1969-1970 of forces who in the main were advanced elements produced by the mass movements of the 50’s and the 60’s, who in the ideological struggle against eclecticism turned themselves into communists, with some influence from the international communist movement, especially the lessons of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as well from some Marxists-Leninists who had split from the degenerate CPUSA(R). This anti-revisionist movement, composed of a workers, revolutionary youth and intellectuals of all nationalities was united around the leading role of the working class and necessity to uphold MLMTT. However, within this movement there immediately began a two line struggle that has led to the dividing of 1 into 2. And this is no surprise if we look at the RU, for example, we see that they played an important role in the struggle against eclecticism, particularly in SDS. However, the line that they introduced and pushed in the communist movement contained in their Red Papers reflects an economist Menshevik line of build the mass movement, not the party. They consistently refused to do self-criticism, in fact, to this day they have yet to repudiate the Yippie as vanguard line in Red Papers 2. Instead, they simply edited the whole article out of print.

They developed theoretical justifications for their erroneous line and practice like the “single spark method” which, is actually the blueprint for bowing to spontaniety. Instead of bringing Marxism-Leninism propaganda and agitation to the working class they put forward “anti-imperialist” literature, some “new ideology”, which the O.L. has since taken up and run with, screaming like a shot in the dark.

The RU failed to put forward Marxist-Leninist theory and sought to lead the entire movement down a blind alley into the waiting arms of the bourgeoisie. Many people struggled with this line, some as thieves struggle over dividing loot like the OL and later the Workers Viewpoint Organization, while others, genuinely seeking to uphold the stand and science of the proletariat, struggled with the line like somebody trying to rid themselves of the plague, relentlessly, sparing no quarter, tit for tat on every aspect. It was in the development of this struggle that led to the split, to the development of two trends within Marxism, each hostile to one another, one genuine and one sham.

Let’s look at what the lines of demarcation between these wings are, what and who constitutes the Revolutionary Wing and what and who constitutes the Opportunist Wing.

Comrades, we put forth that there are three areas in which we can draw an absolute line between the two wings. These are: (1) theory as the leading factor in all our work; (2) correct attitude towards criticism, self-criticism, repudiation and transformation; and, (3) Marxist-Leninist line on how and what kind of party we’re trying to build. The revolutionary wing, composed of all genuine Marxist-Leninists and led by comrades from the August Twenty Ninth Movement (ATM), the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization (PPRWO), and the Revolutionary Workers League (M-L)(RWL) holds basically correct lines on these questions and the opportunist wing, currently led by O.L. and WVO and tailed by WC, IWK, CAP, MLOC and others are fundamentally incorrect on these lines.


Historically, the CP never place theory as the leading factor. Even during the period when they militantly led strikes, organizing drives, and campaigns against national oppression, like the campaign to free the Scottsboro boys, they consistently failed to carry out the key tasks of raising the theoretical level of the organization and of ideological preparation of the advanced. The ideological basis of this deviation was the consistent worship of spontaneity by the CP’s leadership. As we will see, this is clearly the path being followed by the O.L. and WVO.

As we said earlier, the movements of the 50’s and 60’s were not guided by MLMTT, and a large amount of our so called “theory” came from Che, Fanon and Nkrumah, which were, at best, writings of the enraged petty bourgeoisie. And in the anti-revisionist movement, the RU sought to continue this trend by substituting Marxist-Leninist works with Red Papers, and study of the international communist movement with study groups around economist “workers” paper. The bourgeoisie and their lackeys fear arming of the working class with Marxist-Leninists theory, our invincible weapon, so they create their own theories, often under the signboard of Marxism and they try to keep the class tied to its tail by pushing the bowing to spontaneity, with the line “build the mass movement”.

But these bourgeois schemes cannot keep MLMTT from being grasped by the masses, anymore than they can keep their butts out of the hot water of economic crisis.

Genuine Marxist-Leninists seek out and grab hold to Marxist-Leninist theory, and seek to use it in their fight to change the world. Theory for the genuine is not book reading, is not something that we look at in our spare time, we don’t take Marxist-Leninists theory and read it in the bathroom between fightback rallies. No comrades, theory is the weapon we use to analyze any and all situations, that is our micro-scope and telescope. We use Marxist-Leninist theory because it is a science, the only theory that is in complete conformity with objective law, that allows us to seek truth from facts.

And in these conditions, where our movement is young, our party is yet to be formed, how even more despicable is the belittling of this theory under cries of “build coalitions”, “dogmatism”, “we need new theories”, and the rest of the trash that comes from the opportunist wing. Look at what Lenin said on the question,

Those who have the slightest acquaintance with the actual state of our movement cannot but see the wide spread of Marxism was accompanied by a certain lowering of the theoretical level. Quite a number of people with very little, even total lack of theoretical training joined the movement because of its practical significance and its practical success. We can judge from that how tactless the Rabocheye Dyelo is when, with an air of triumph it quotes Marx’s statement: ’Every step of real movement is more important than a dozen programmes.’ To repeat these words in a period of theoretical chaos is like wishing the mourners at a funeral ’many happy returns of the day.’ Moreover these words are taken from his letter on the Gotha Programme in which he sharply condemns eclecticism in the formulation of principles: ’If you must unite,’ Marx wrote to the Party leaders, ’then enter into agreements to satisfy the practical aims of the movement, but do not make ’concessions’ in questions of theory. This was Marx’s idea, and yet there are people among us who in Marx’s name seek to belittle the significance of theory. Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. This thought cannot be insisted upon too strongly at a time when the fashionable preaching of opportunism goes hand in hand with an infatuation for the narrowest form of practical activity. (What Is To Be Done? Collected Works, Vol. 5, page 36)

Now compare this to the O.L. (Menshevik-Liberal) in their pamphlet on Party Building.

In recent months, we have seen more and more examples of communist groups playing a leading role in the workers movement; leading strikes, building united front demonstrations against the government’s policies of war and fascism. The increased level of this kind or work has made a higher level of unity among the communists possible.

Comrades, what is this but, “Every step of real movement is more important than a dozen programmes.” The working class has proved historically capable of heroically building its own demonstrations, leading its own strikes, often bloody confrontation with the capitalists and their state, and have done fine without the help of the O.L. What the working class needs is scientific, Marxist-Leninist leadership that can only from Marxist-Leninist theory, concretized in political line. The advanced workers need to be armed with this theory. This is our duty and tasks as communists in this stage.

The OL might as well have stood on the curb with flags as the funeral went by, with this raggedy Menshevik line, and across the street would be WVO.

WVO unlike the OL, says that theory is key. But let’s look at what theory they are talking about.

Their “new theory” their contribution to the movement is called the Anti-Revisionist premises. Later we’ll polemicize against this new way to become revisionist. But now listen to what they say about their premises. “The theory of MLMTT itself is part of our anti-revisionist premises. It is what some call the “premises of the premises.”

Comrades, we say that MLMTT is our only theory, not the basis for our new theory. To reduce MLMTT to the premises of the premises is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; it simply sounds nice and different, and catchy, and intellectually appetizing and all that shit. But as Lenin said, “any belittling of theory is tantamount to abandoning it.” How much more can MLMTT be belittled than reducing it to the premise of the premises.

No, comrades, we don’t take the red flag of Marxism and store it in the basement, we seek to climb the highest mountain, proletarian revolution, and use it to guide our path and firmly implant it on that mountain, as a clarion call to all oppressed.


Allow us to read from our comrades in PRRWO’s new pamphlet, “Party Building In The Heat Of Class Struggle”(p. 32)

We had to and continue to struggle today for the principle of criticism and self-criticism, the hall mark of a truly genuine communist organization. In fact, we recall many organizations that would call us “ultra leftist”, not because of the left errors that we were indeed committing and still commit today, but because criticism and self-criticism meant to seriously disclose one’s errors, the basis for them, present how to rectify them and move to do so in practice. For the hidden opportunists this meant exposure of their rotten lines and views which they peddled in our movement. They knew we were serious about building a Bolshevik Party and that we would exclude any known Mensheviks.

Compare this method of how to view one’s errors with that of the opportunist wing.

At a recent forum on party building in Boston, WVO’s method for viewing one’s errors was demonstrated. Their opportunist nature was revealed when the WVO attempted to do self-criticism for ’certain aspects’ of the “Anti-Revisionist Theoretical Premises.” The hallmark of a genuine communist organization is its ability to discuss the essence of their errors, trace their ideological and social basis, and outline a method for rectification. WVO did some of this. First, they said they should not have ’formulated’ their line with terms like “Anti-Revisionist Premises,” because “it could lead to substitution for Marxism-Leninism.” They then said that it’s true, that taken separately the Anti-Revisionist Premises are not nationally specific, but “taken together” they are.

They also said they did not include narrow nationalism as a nationally specific form. To wrap it up, they went on to say, “However, our errors were made- in response to the “dominant pragmatist trend,” and that their errors were a “thousand times better” than the “dogmatist’s” errors. They also revealed that they would not accept criticism from, nor self-criticism in front of the opportunist wing because it would blunt the class struggle. In essence, they rejected the criticism of PRRWO and RWL.

We ask all genuine communists and advanced elements– is this an example of Bolshevik self-criticism? We say no! This is a further attempt to cover up errors on the basis of external causality, rather than revealing their basis; laying the errors on the formulation of terms, rather than the lines from which the formulation flows; wiggling like a snake to avoid getting to the essence; openly professing the Trotskyite line on self-criticism that to be ruthlessly critical of our errors in front of all weakens us; using self-criticism to launch attacks, most particularly against PRRWO. Practice is the sole criteria of truth – WVO’s practice of doing self-criticism confirms the truth of their opportunist line.

On the OL we’d like to refer to the March Call article on their Central Committee report. In this article, the liberals supposedly do self-criticism of the Call to the Menshevik Party. The report says:

As a result of further discussions the Central Committee decided on a partial modification of the party building plan put forward in the November appeal (sounds like the March of Dimes crusade, ed.) The plan had as its first organizational step the ’formation of a temporary leading body that could survey the organizational forces represented in the party, establishing democratic centralism and prepare us for the first Party Congress, to be held within a year of its founding.’ The Central Committee decided to omit this ’temporary leading body’ and instead to call for the founding congress of the party to be held later this year.

The weaknesses of the ’temporary leading body’ were: first it would not have the full authority that it could have if elected by a congress, and this would open the door to federationist weaknesses and undermine centralist unity.

Secondly, under ’temporary leadership’ the party would be without a program to guide the struggle for up to a year until the first congress.

Thirdly, the unification process would be based solely on unity from above, not also on unity from below.

The report then goes on to speak to the need to adopt a program, elect a Central Committee and have discussion groups.

Comrades, this incorrect idea the OL refers to did not drop from the sky; it is an essential part of the plan set forth in the November Call. The slight modification amounts to “plastic surgery” on that bankrupt line. In February at a forum in Boston, we put forward this view on the “Call To The Party”,

The OL because it is attempting to build a lowest common denominator Menshevik Party, first attempts to unite people behind the Principles of Unity, set up a rump central committee and democratic centralism without a congress, then develop the political line and program and call a congress a year later. Meanwhile, ’every striker’ in this Menshevik Party will be running around worshipping the spontaneous movement, building the “fight back” with no political line or program, which Lenin said was necessary to give scope and orientation to our propaganda and agitation. This is outright Menshevism–conciliationism centrism–and not the road to building a genuine Bolshevik party, firmly united around program and cemented by the iron discipline, unity of will and action that flows from democratic centralism. The OL, because it represents the interests of the declassed petty bourgeoisie, anarchist intellectuals, and unstable elements and attempts to appeal to every striker, professor, and vascillating elements, put forward under the section on party organization that: “...It (the party) must practice democratic centralism with one center and full democracy for all members....”

Comrades, centralism restricts democracy. Full democracy (to do whatever you want–your own thing) is the outlook and aspiration of the alienated petty bourgeoisie. The proletariat demands and understands the dialectical relationship between centralism and democracy. There can be no freedom without discipline, nor democracy without centralism. In order to have democracy, centralism is necessary. Chairman Mao says: “...We need democracy, but we need centralism even more...” While Engels has said that freedom is the recognition of necessity (which Chairman Mao enriched with the view that “...freedom is not only the recognition but also the transformation of necessity...”) The bourgeoisie and anarchist intellectual promote a metaphysical view of freedom as equivalent to free will, with no restrictions, no centralism. In One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Lenin wrote:

Martov’s formulation ostensibly defends the interests of the broad strata of the proletariat, but in fact it serves the interests of the bourgeois intellectuals who fight proletarian discipline and organization. No one will undertake to deny that it is precisely its individualism and incapacity for discipline and organization that in general distinguishes the intellectual as a separate stratum in modern capitalist society. (LCW, Vol. 7)

When you undertake to build a lowest common denominator Menshevik Party this inevitably gives rise to a lower level of discipline. We ask you “who is the OL appealing to but the non-proletarian elements, with its promise of full democracy?” The proletariat recognizes that in order to make proletarian revolution democracy is necessary but centralism is needed even more. This is the difference between Bolshevism and Menshevism. To the Menshevik, the Party is a debating club. To the Bolshevik, the party and its organizational discipline are an instrument for carrying the proletarian revolution through to the end.

Comrades, we think that the essence of this Menshevik method of party building is to build a party from below and not the Leninist method of building the party from above which demands principled ideological struggle to reach the highest level of unity around program, the formulation of a leading center by the Congress and then direction to all parts from the Bolshevik Center. Genuine democratic centralism flows from unity around the correct line. The opportunist OL instead attempts to build the party in the opposite manner – unite people around a minimal level of unity, (with no clear program or basic line), establish democratic centralism, and only then, develop line.

What is this but an attempt by the OL to sneak its opportunist line in to the “Menshevik” Party through the back door. The whole process is a cover for ensuring the minimal disagreement with OL’s line in the formative stages and reflects a philistine attitude toward ideological struggle that has characterized the OL since its inception. Build the party from above–this is the Bolshevik principle. The OL, in effect, was forced to admit that these criticisms were correct but did so in a manner true to their opportunist nature. No mention of the class basis for this line, no searching for its ideological roots, no open repudiation, of this incorrect line. Instead, we get partial repudiation, gutless and empty word magic, a modified plan, true Philistinism, the hall mark of an opportunist.

And why do we place so much importance on this question of criticism, self-criticism? Because it is a clear indicator of how it is we fight opportunism, within our ranks and within the movement as a whole. Criticism and self-criticism is no magician’s wand, it won’t prevent us from making mistakes, but it is crucial in our ability to correct deviations, in fact to break with incorrect lines, and to expose the political swindlers in our ranks who represent the bourgeoisie. No one organization has the overall correct ideological and political line concretized a program. There is no Lenin or Mao leading this wing from a secret location in Canada, no comrades, we all have made mistakes, some very serious. We will continue to make deviations. But we must all be able to root out these incorrect lines and their major exponents.

Comrades from, PRRWO, ATM, and some comrades in the BWC were staunch as redwoods in the struggle against the RU.

They made deviations and fell prey to a dogmatists’ line and fell into the CL motion to build another sham party. But because of consistent struggle against opportunism and correct Bolshevik attitude towards criticism and self-criticism, they broke from this line and purged from their ranks, the opportunists who lead that line, carrerist who are still jockeying for positions inside the Worker’s Congress.

Inside the RWL we have been waging a long and hard battle against right opportunism, which for nearly two years has dominated our organization. This struggle proceeded from a lower to a higher level, from perceptual to rational knowledge, as the Bolsheviks in the rank and file and leadership increased their understanding of Marxism-Leninism in the course of struggle.

One of the leaders of the Menshevik line in the organization the renegade Abdul Alkalimat is probably known to some of you here tonight.

This revisionist tried to take the organization down any path other than the Marxist-Leninists one.

Pushing centrism, petty bourgeois intellectualism, this careerist was a clear representative of his class.

In the course of the struggle, this skunk was purged, and is now in Chicago making his “individual contribution to the movement”.

The point we’re trying to make comrades is that if we were satisfied that Alkalimat is gone, or satisfied that the class composition of our organization is relatively good, being mostly working people from the oppressed nationalities or that comrades in our organization have organized demonstrations of 100,000 people all over North America in support of African liberation, then we’d still be dominated by a right line. What we had to do, and must continue to do is to go deeper into how it was that Alkalimat even got into the organization. How our own liberalism, bowing to spontaniety, remnants of bourgeois nationalism, fed into his opportunist schemes. And it is only with ruthless self-criticism and consistent study of MLMTT that we can do this. To fail to do so leads to the swamp, as it has with the OL and the WVO.


The next section is on the correct line on Party Building. In this section we’d like to cover the following, key link, fusion, advanced worker, and the strategic principles of Marxist-Leninists and win the advanced to Communism and our view of polemics and unity.


The key link to party building in this period is the hammering out of the political line–the concrete application of MLMTT to the burning class questions of today.

Key link is an important concept in Marxism-Leninism. Currently the struggle in China is focused around the Right Deviationist wind which tried to liquidate the “Key link class struggle”. Comrade Stalin stressed the necessity

to locate at any given moment the particular link in the chain of processes which if grasped, will enable us to keep hold of the whole chain and to prepare the conditions for achieving strategic success. (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, p. 95)

Chairman Mao has taken this teaching and applied it to the concrete conditions of the Chinese Revolution in the struggle with the Right Deviationist wind, he said:

What, taking the three directives is the key link.’ Stability and unity do not mean writing off the class struggle; class struggle is the key link and everything else hinges on it. (Peking Review, #13, 1976)

It is precisely this key link that the capitalist roaders inside the Communist Party of China had to attack in order to divert the proletariat from “achieving strategic success”.

And in the U.S., we too must struggle against those who attack the key link in this period of Party Building, who attempt to pull us away from the formation of a genuine Bolshevik Party. As we have said, Political Line is the Key Link in this period.

What do we mean by political line? Political line is the basic programme; strategy and tactics of proletarian revolution in the U.S.

The programme of a worker’s party is a brief, scientifically formulated statement of the aims and objectives of the struggle of the working class. The programme defines both ultimate goal of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat and the demands for which the party fights for while on the way to the achievement of the ultimate goal. (History of the Communist Party Soviet Union Bolshevik)

The programme consists of two parts: a maximum programme and a minimum programme. The maximum programme dealt with the principal aims of the working class party, namely the socialist revolution, the overthrow of the power of the capitalists and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The minimum programme dealt with the immediate aims of the party aims to be achieved before the overthrow of the capitalist system and the establishment of the dictatorship proletariat. (HCPSUB)

Political line is not “simple”, is not “mere formulations” as WVO says, it is not the general principles of Marxism, as the OL would have us believe. The development of political line requires that we make a concrete analysis of the U.S., an analysis of the basic glasses in society and their attitude toward the dictatorship of the proletariat. We must make an analysis of the basic forms and methods of struggle of the proletariat that correctly accumulates its strength and develops the reserves. We must analyze the international situation, and its affects on the development of the political economy of the U.S. We must take all of these and concretize them into a minimum and maximum program. In short, we must apply our principles to the concrete conditions of the U.S. Revolution.

This program which we must develop is not something that changes every two months, it is not simply demands for a particular coalition, or group of coalitions. In Russia, the program, adopted at the Second Congress of the Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903 served as the party’s basic line until 1917, up to the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what we must hammer out in this period. The OL cannot even lay out a clear set of principles and demands for its “Fight Back” organization; we don’t even need to speculate on the character of its Menshevik Party’s basic programme.

Political line is more than “formulation”. It must be tested in the heat of class struggle. The hammering out of political line must be used to win over the advanced and unite Marxist-Leninists and move the class struggle forward.

It is by developing a correct political line that we develop a correct scope and orientation for organizational tasks as well as giving concrete form to our developing proletarian ideology.

Has political line always been key? What was the key link in the past? In the previous periods, following the complete degeneration of the “CP”USA in 1957 and through the birth of the NCM in 1969 and up until 1973-74 with the break-up of the NLC, the reaffirmation of the general truths of MLMTT was the key link to moving toward building a genuine Bolshevik Party. Comrades have asked whether our formulation “re-affirmation of the general truth of MLMTT as key” means that ideology was key. It does, but we think that it is important to lay put the specific points that came forward in the ideological struggle.

From 1957 to 1969, the main struggle was for Marxism-Leninism, in general against the eclectic theories of the petty-bourgeoisie. It was necessary to criticize the revisionism of the “CP”SU and the “CP”USA – criticizing their total abandonment of Marxism-Leninism in the form of the three peacefuls. To do so, the basic truths of MLMTT were reaffirmed: the class nature of state power, the inevitability of war under imperialism, the necessity for the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the subsequent struggles against the petty bourgeois “new working class” theorists, Fanon, Che, the Panthers, Marcuse, etc, it was the leading role of the working class in revolution that was reaffirmed.

After breaking with eclecticism, we had to continue to struggle for the general principles of MLMTT as the key link, We had to still struggle for proletarian ideology. But this struggle had a different form. It was not for Marxism in general, rather it was for the general principles of MLMTT on the basic questions of U.S. Revolution.

As the Anti-revisionist communist movement upholding the leading role of the working class and criticizing the revisionist three peacefuls of the “CP” SU and “CP” USA struggled for its existence, it was still necessary to further reaffirm the leading role of theory, the importance of the science of MLMTT, dialectical materialism, on the basic questions of US revolution, the basic principles of the national question; trade union question, the central task of party building when there is no Bolshevik Party, criticism, self-criticism, strategy and tactics. In these periods ideological struggle took place on political lines, organizational lines (bureaucratic centralism, federation), and military lines (peaceful transition and armed struggle and terrorism), but the focus was of necessity to bring forth the general principles of the science. This struggle was primarily against the right opportunist line within the Communist Movement, over whether we used a new form of eclecticism, such as Avakianism, or whether we upheld MLMTT. In both these periods, ideology was key, but the focus and forms of the struggle was different. By 1974 these basic truths had been reaffirmed, and the NCM was split. The split came over the chauvinism and hegemonic line on party building of the opportunist wing, especially RU; on criticism, self criticism as essential to the development of a communist organization on the leading role of MLMTT in all areas of our work in opposition to RU’s worship of spontaneity and pragmatism.

At that point it became necessary for those upholding the leading role of theory to apply it to the concrete conditions and answer the basic class question, Comrade Lenin says,

...the task of the socialists is to be the ideological leaders of the proletariat in the actual struggles against actual and real enemies who stand in the actual path of social and economic development. Under these circumstances, theoretical and practical work merge into one aptly described by the veteran German Social Democrat Liebknecht as ’Study, propaganda, organization.’ You cannot be an ideological leader without the above mentioned theoretical work just as you cannot be one without directing this work to meet the needs of the cause, and without spreading the results of this theory among the workers and helping them to organize. (“What the Friends of the People Are”)

The tasks of theoretical and practical work are linked to the development of political line: the study of MLMTT and the analysis of the real conditions of the proletariat and all other classes in society, analyzing from a materialist viewpoint, the motion of all classes in society propaganda work to the advanced workers to spread the results of our theoretical work among the independent leaders of the working class and through them to the class as a whole; and organizing a Bolshevik party to give day to day leadership as well as long term strategic leadership to the class struggle for proletarian revolution.

It is by grasping the key link of political line that we recognize and criticize right and left deviations, go to its ideological root, bowing to spontaneity, and build the party on an ideological plan.

While swamp forces drenched in the muck of revisionism, reformism and opportunism, rise up and call us dogmatists and sectarian we remind them:

There can be no dogmatism where the supreme and sole criterion of a doctrine is its conformity to the actual process of social and economic development; there can be no sectarianism where task is that of promoting the organization of the proletariat, and when, therefore the role of the “intelligentsia” is to make special leaders from the intelligentsia unnecessary. (Ibid)


To continue to hold that ideology is key or to be unable to even say that political line is key and spend most time on ideology as WVO does is a right line. It is to underestimate the level of development that has occurred in the concrete struggles against revisionism, and other forms of bourgeois ideology.

The “Ideology is Key Link” line held by WVO leads to viewing “Organization as Key” and is very close to the line put forward by the dogmatist, left opportunist WC. Both belittle the task of forging the basic political line – the program, strategy and tactics, and centrism in general. WC would form the party by uniting in a newspaper based on the “Iskra principles”– upholding ML’s leading role, the necessity for communist independence of policy, to consolidating ideological unity in organizational unity and the need to unite with the advanced to win over the intermediate and backward.

Upholding general ideological principles in 1976 as the basis for unity of a Bolshevik Party is a right line which inevitably leads to a hegemonic approach to party building, because the organizations putting forward these general principles in the final analysis mean that you must unite on their applications of these general principles to the U.S. revolution. They see themselves as leading circles with overall correct line needing only to strengthen their organizations by swelling their ranks with others who are “honest” (that is, those who will follow their general line).

All these opportunist forces use “ideology as key” or “organization as key” as a cover for their erroneous line. By bowing to spontaneous movement, practicing bureaucratic centralism, they in fact do not uphold the general principles. Their application to the concrete class question, especially on the central task, takes the heart out of the general Marxist-Leninist principles.

These forces claim that they already have a developed political line. They use as examples their positions on different tactical questions such as bussing and the ERA. We know that positions on these questions do not represent a developed political line. As communists, we have a responsibility to provide the analysis of these questions and, to provide conscious leadership to the struggles developed around them. But our ability to do this is limited at this time, because we have a lower level of rational knowledge of the correct policy of the proletariat toward other classes, do not have a Party program, that provides continuity in principle between our propaganda and agitation, that develops out tactics as a plan linking it with strategy. We must use these tactical questions to deepen our basic work of hammering our political line, by going into a full analysis of the basic class questions involved in these different “issues”. But to equate the development of political line to solely a position on tactical questions and issues of the moment inevitably is to raise a theoretical justification for bowing to spontaneity, to the development of “tactics as process”.

Comrades, the question of whether to support the ERA or not will be of little importance in a year or two. But the basic questions of what the forms and method of struggle are that should be used to accumulate the revolutionary potential of working women, this powerful force in proletarian revolution, what the proletariats policy toward the bourgeois feminists and social reformers should be, will be questions that will face us for years. We must focus our efforts at scientifically analyzing these questions, on developing the Party’s minimum and maximum programme that provides a basis for analyzing not just the ERA, but all reforms, that enables us to correctly win real reforms for the proletariat and its allies as a by-product of revolutionary struggle.

The opportunists say, in effect “positions on passing issues of the moment is political line”; they say that we must unite on general principles line “move, the unions to left”; they claim that an ideological breakthrough has been made in finding a way to “repudiate revisionism as an integral whole”. They put forth that we should build our organization apparatus, not in an illegal way through factory nuclei style of work, but through the social democratic style of “all through the coalition. ” They claim we must do this because there will be a war and fascism (As WVO put forth in a leaflet on Angola published on January 10, 1976, in New York). These positions represent the main component of the Menshevik Key Link.

Comrades, we must oppose this Menshevik line, and firmly grasp the Key Link of political line. We must pay special attention to linking the development of political line and program to our polemics. As Comrade Lenin said,

Only the introduction of the programme question into the polemics, only a definite statement by the two polemicizing parties on programmatic views, can provide an answer to all these questions that insistently demand an answer. The elaboration of a common programme for the party should not of course put forward an end to all polemics; it will firmly establish those basic views on the character, the aims and tasks of the party that remains unconsolidated and united despite particular differences of opinion on particular questions. (On Immediate Task, CW, Vol. 4).

Comrades, we put forward to all Marxist-Leninists and advanced, grasp firmly onto this key link, and hold tightly onto this as we forge ahead in struggle to build a genuine Bolshevik Party.


Fusion is the connection of Marxism-Leninism with the spontaneous workers movement. In “Our Immediate Task”, Lenin quoted K. Kautsky defining fusion as:

...the combination of socialism and the workers movement.” Lenin goes on to say, “..the task of Social-Democracy is to bring definite socialist ideals to the spontaneous working class movement, to connect it with socialist convictions that should attain the level of contemporary science, to connect it with the regular political struggle for democracy as a means of achieving socialism, in a word to fuse this spontaneous movement into one indestructible whole with the activity of the revolutionary party. (LCW 4:217)

Fusion develops on the basis of the convergence of socialist theory and the spontaneous working class movement.

The motion of Socialist theory and socialists towards the working class is one aspect of fusion. The other is the gravitation - the urge of the working class toward socialism. Since the development of capitalism every workers movement has spontaneously strived towards socialism. (The spontaneous struggle represents embryonic political consciousness. This embryonic political consciousness, it not raised to the level of scientific socialism, will inevitably become TU consciousness because the striving of the working class towards socialism is Spontaneous and will be subverted by the bourgeoisie and its agents by their conscious spread of bourgeois ideology by their encouragement of the bowing to spontaneity. This tactic is combined with the active repression of the advanced and conscious elements).

It is important that we recognize that there is a striving of the working class itself toward socialism.

...that the Russian working class movement has been long striving to organize itself into a revolutionary party and has demonstrated this striving by action. (A Retrograde Trend In Russian Social-Democracy LCW, 4:255)

But the working class due to its conditions of life, cannot develop scientific socialism, this does not develop from spontaneous struggle but only on the basis of profound scientific and historical knowledge. This was the task of the revolutionary intellectuals from the propertied classes.

Therefore, we must bring socialism to the working class movement, but most importantly, we must bring it to the advanced, for it is these forces,

...that always and everywhere determine the character of the movement, and they are readily followed by the working masses because they showed their readiness and the ability to serve the cause of the working class, because they proceed able to win the full confidence of the masses. (ibid)

Two movements converged in Russian and this convergence is repeated in all capitalist countries, as the working class movement struggles with opportunism and fuses with scientific socialism. In Russia, the movement of socialist theory proceeded toward the working class and thereby began to integrate the universal principles of Marxism with the actual conditions Of Russia and thus Russia working class movement in doing so further developed Russian Social-Democracy (Communism).

This convergence can be seen in all countries in the U.S., as early as 1850’s, Marxists were bringing socialist theory to the working class, and the working class was striving towards socialism; this was concretely manifested in the formation of Communist Clubs, and in their attempts to give leadership to the National Labor Union. This National Labor Union exchanged statements of solidarity with the First International, led by Marx and Engels. And this fusion has continued, through many twists and turns, until today, where MLMTT has become the dominant trend in the U.S. revolutionary movement and more and more advanced are taking up the weapon of the science of the proletariat.

Comrades, we must look at how, historically, the science of Marxism develops, and how it is related to fusion. Although the struggle to uphold and develop Marxism takes place on an international scale, it can only develop based on the struggle within each country. The development of capitalism brought into being the modern nation state and theory dictated that the struggle to defend Marxism and fuse it with the working class could only go down on the basis of the struggle of the working class in each country against its “own” in accordance with its own specific conditions and historical development.

Though not in substance, and yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. (Communist Manifesto, p. 45)

The victory of socialism in China and Albania (and in the Soviet Union before the party went revisionist and restored capitalism) does not negate this struggle in each country against imperialism and capitalism. In fact, the victory of socialism proves the correctness of the necessity of the proletariat to fight its’ own bourgeoisie and the inevitability of success in this struggle. And these struggles have helped to deepen the fusion of MLMTT with the workers and oppressed peoples of the world.

As the process of fusion develops, the contemporary level of the science develops. In the struggle to apply Marxism, the science is enriched and integrated with the national and international conditions. The relative quality of the science, the depth to which it goes in elaborating a particular question, disclosing internal contradictions and external conditions increases as well as the number of questions it is forced to speak to in the course of making revolution increases. This movement of the science is closely bound to fusion. Because the working class is the only class whose conditions of life prepare it for the science of MLMTT.

Of all the classes that stand face to face of modern industry the proletariat is its special and essential product. (Communist Manifesto)

So it is the working class that must grasp MLMTT and enrich it as it struggles to overthrow the bourgeoisie. A good example, of this process is the development of strategy and tactics in the Russian revolution. This area of the science was constantly enriched on the question of insurrection, role of the peasantry, parliamentary forms of struggle, etc. as the struggle for proletarian revolution moved though the twists and turns. The same can be said of the leading role of the CPC and the Chinese working class in deepening the contemporary understanding of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Faced with new problems, we utilize the science to solve them and in doing so enrich and broaden MLMTT.

The development of Marxism proceeds in the course of the struggle against opportunism which is a reflection of the class struggle between the two classes – the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

No, wonder therefore, that the Marxian doctrine, which directly serves to enlighten and organize the advanced class in modern society, indicates the tasks facing this class and demonstrates the inevitable replacement (by virtue of economic development) of the present system by a new order, no wonder this doctrine has had to fight for every step forward in the course of its life. (Marxism And Revisionism, LCW:15)

In the U.S. Anti-Revisionist Communist Movement, this struggle has proceeded against the opportunist line of the leading role of theory, criticism and self-criticism, party building, national question, trade union question, the woman question, and strategy and tactics. In the course of this struggle the movement divided into two wings, the revolutionary wing and the opportunist wing. As a result, the contemporary level of the science was raised and the fusion of MLMTT developed. Some of the forces in the opportunist wing were a part of the genuine forces in the old period and made some contributions to the development of fusion, bringing some aspects of MLMTT to the working class movement. In failing to go deeply into their errors, however, criticize and repudiate opportunist lines and wage tit for tat struggles against the opportunist within their own ranks and place MLMTT theory in the leading role – they all have degenerated into the swamp of opportunism. The contemporary level of the science has developed past them on the basis of MLMTT in the struggle waged against the incorrect lines they propagated within the movement.

The question of fusion is one of the fundamental questions of party building. The party is the advanced detachment of the working class and is the organizational manifestation of the fusion of socialism with the U. S. working class movement This is why, in order to further develop this fusion, we put forth the strategic principles of Marxist-Leninist unite and win the advanced to Communism.


The question of the advanced worker has been an important struggle in our movement, first against the RU who held that advanced workers were mainly militant fighters that could even have some anti-communist ideas. This definition went hand and glove with their economist trade union work. It is such an important question because they are the key connectors between socialism and the working class, and they are the focus of our propaganda and agitation in this period. In the struggle against the economists in Russia Lenin said,

The newspaper that wants to become the organ of all Russian Social-Democrats must, therefore, be at the level of the advanced workers; not only must it not lower its level artificially, but, on the contrary, it must raise it constantly, it must follow up all the tactical, political, and theoretical problems of world Social-Democracy. Only then will the demands of the working class intelligentsia be met, and it itself will take the cause of the Russian revolution, into its own hand. (Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy, LCW, Vol 4)

Advanced workers are the life and blood of the Party, the best elements produced by our class, the proletariat. These elements are the target of our agitation and propaganda in this period, those who, when armed with MLMTT, can change the character of the workers movement from spontaneous to conscious. Winning these advanced to communism is one of our two main strategic principles of party building. Analyzing an organization’s attitude toward these “diamonds of the class” is a good method for helping to distinguish the genuine from the sham. We view the advanced as independent leaders, who have practically demonstrated their desire and commitment for fundamental change, leaders who study, study a wide range of materials in an effort to find answers to the problems facing them everyday. These materials range from Newsweek type magazines to Communist newspapers and Marxist-Leninist works. This study, under the influence of communists becomes the systematic, regular study of MLMTT. And comrades, we must grasp the fact that the advanced are active, in motion, agitating and propagating the understanding they have acquired from their study and practice about the fundamental problems in society and the long range solutions. (We believe that this is elaborating independent socialist theories, which are Utopian, but when these advanced grasp MLMTT they become the best communist agitators and propagandists forces in the mass movements, our future working class revolutionary intellectuals).

These advanced workers do not drop from the sky, but are produced by every movement.

How is it that the OL deals with the advanced? At last year’s May Day preparation in the Bay Area, a leading OL cadre said:

We don’t know who the advanced are; we don’t have a position on the difference between advanced and intermediate. We just put out the call to an activity, whoever comes must be the advanced, so we work with them.

Comrades, is this a scientific approach towards building the party, towards giving the mass movements conscious leadership? No, this is nothing but a petty-bourgeois, ex-Peace Corps approach towards “building the mass movements”, towards winning over “every striker”, every picket sign carrier to the Menshevik party. Like the RU, who see that the advanced can be anti-communist, and the Workers Viewpoint, who see that the advanced are militant fighters open to socialism, the OL fails to understand that there has been fusion between the two great movements of socialism and the working class, that these two movements strive towards one another, and the advanced workers are the key connectors between the two. The opportunist wing cannot understand that the League of Revolution Black Workers developed and spread spontaneously, maintained contact with hundreds of advanced elements across the country. They ignore the fact that the League, Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, HRUM, SNCC, SDS, the Young Lords Party, SOBU and ALSC all developed from the mass movements at the initiation of advanced elements in those movements, fought opportunism of all shades and descriptions, and sought out MLMTT as it proved most successful in solving the practical problems presented by these movements. In fact, as Lenin said, they “turned themselves into Social Democrats (Communists).”

But the petty bourgeois opportunists, because of their contempt for the masses, see that it is only when they became communists that the movement began, that they have the “theory” and the advanced have only practice. Because their organizations are not composed of the truly advanced, they say that the advanced don’t really exist, or they lower their propaganda to speak to the intermediate and backward, those elements with whom they are most familiar. Instead of aiming the arrow of Marxist-Leninist propaganda at the target of the advanced, especially advanced workers, these Mensheviks throw the boomerang of “anti-imperialism” at the intermediate and advanced, missing the target, a boomerang that comes right back, knocking them even further into the swamp.

Comrades, we must do some summing up at this point, of the interconnection of the erroneous lines of the opportunist, because it is from these lines that their incorrect view of the current tasks and tactics flow.


Our view on periods is that periods trace the historic development of the communist movement. A correct view of periods helps us to define the main task at a given period to see what is coming into being and what is dying away and then deepens our understanding of how to deal decisive blows against opportunism and revisionism. There must be a correct understanding of what period we are in, in order to draw further ideological and political demarcations in accordance with our key link.

The OL distorts the development of the communist movement with an unscientific analysis of periods. They see periods essentially as going from little organizations to big organizations, which is less then simplistic.

The WVO puts forth that periods are characterized by unity or disunity, by a dominant line, “whether its relatively correct or not.”

After years of an incorrect leading line on this question, the question is still how to build the party of the working class. So far, the presentation of the party building question has been eclectic. (Party Building And The Anti-Revisionist Premises, “Workers Viewpoint”, p. 29)

This view of summation of the movements history is nothing but bourgeois journalism, looking only at the surface, perceptual level, only recording quantity, and negates the qualitative development of the correct line. OL and WVO portray periods as chaos, only to serve their own hegemonic plans. And as Lenin said,

Anybody who regards the history of his own party as ’chaos’ is an unpardonable blockhead. (Breach of Unity, LCW: 20-330)

On fusion, the WVO says that in 1975 that “fusion has just begun”, the OL never even address the question.

The fact that a great deal of the present day communist come from the ranks of the middle classes or the intelligentsia is only natural. It stems from the fact that the mass movements which so greatly affected the students and intellectuals during the 60’s brought many of them into the ranks of the working class. (Party Building in the U.S., O.L., page 8)

And their partners in principles, WVO, put forth essentially the same analysis:

Concretely, the advanced elements open to Marxist-Leninist in the last few years came mainly from two sources. One, the movement of the oppressed minorities–two, the movement of students and the petty bourgeoisie who fought against the war and imperialism. Besides some workers from the oppressed nationalities and a few white workers and anti-revisionist ex-CP members, all of whom are open to socialism, there is not a sizable cadre pool of workers. Why? Because the immediate past movements were not movements of the working class as a whole. They were movements of the most conscious sector of the population–the oppressed nationalities and student, youth and revolutionary intellectuals. (Party Building And The Anti-Revisionist Premise, p. 36)

It is no wonder, then, that they put forth economist lines on advanced workers, and are unable to correctly apply our two simultaneous principles of Marxists-Leninists Unite and Win The Advanced to Communism. Let’s look at these principles and the tactics we develop for implementing them. We need to go into this since it is because we constantly raise these two principles that we are called dogmatist by both OL and WVO. Both these Mensheviks keep raising the “left” danger in order to cover their own raggedy right lines. The dogma they shout about are good old Marxist-Leninist principles. Let’s look at Comrade Stalin, to back this up:

the party confined itself to mapping the movement’s strategic plan, i.e., the route that the movement should take; and the party’s reserves–the contradiction within the camp of the enemies inside and outside of Russia remained unused, or almost unused, owing to the weakness of the Party.

In this period the Party focused its attention and care upon the party itself, upon its own existence and preservation.

The principle task of communism in Russia in that period was to recruit into the Party the best elements of the working class, those who were most active and most dedicated to the cause of the proletariat; to form the ranks of the proletarian party and to put it firmly on its feet. Comrade Lenin formulates this task as follows: ’to win the advanced to communism.’

The second period was the period of winning the broad masses of the workers, peasants, to the side of the vanguard of the proletariat.

The Party’s principle task in this period was to win the vast masses to the side of the proletarian vanguard, to the side of the party, for the purpose of overthrowing the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, for the purpose of seizing power.

The party now no longer focused its attention on itself but upon the vast masses of people. (“The Party Before And After Taking Power”, Collected Works, Stalin, Vol. 5)

Comrades, we hold that we are in the first period that Stalin talked about, the period of winning the vanguard to communism, where we must pay attention to the party itself. Throughout all periods of the development of the party it is necessary to unite the Marxist-Leninists into one party and then constantly within the party, consolidate them around the correct line, in the struggle against opportunism. This is strategic. It is also necessary in all periods to continue to win the advanced to communism. But the separation of the genuine from the sham is whether we correctly assess what period we’re in, because, as Stalin pointed out, it greatly affects our tactical line.

We formerly put forth that Marxist-Leninist unite was the principle tactic in party building. We repudiate this. We believe that this is an incorrect line, that, in the final analysis, leads to seeing ideology as key, to building unity on general principles, not the application of these principles to concrete conditions. This line has led to over emphasizing liaison work and coalition work, while not placing sufficient emphasis on winning the advanced. This view, because of the spontaneity it breeds, strengthened a tendency to negate our main form of work, propaganda. Marxist-Leninists Unite as principle thing belittles the role of advanced in hammering out political line. We believe that we must carry out the work of uniting Marxist-Leninists and winning the advanced to communism simultaneously. Even in those work places where we may be the only known Communist, we have the responsibility of introducing the polemics into that work place so the advanced can be trained in struggle to discern genuine from sham; and thus play an even greater role in uniting Marxist-Leninists and winning over other advanced to the science. To either fail to bring forth these principles of uniting Marxists-Leninists and winning the advanced or to incorrectly assess the period and develop an incorrect tactical line, such as WVO’s, Marxist-Leninist unite as principle, means that independent of one’s will, one will develop a Menshevik line on party building.

In this general period of winning over the advanced, the correct application of these two strategic principles to the concrete conditions to the U. S. revolution means, first, having a correct line on key link, since as we said earlier that is what gives scope and orientation to our work with Marxist-Leninists and the advanced. Second, it means that we uphold our main form of work is propaganda to the advanced. It means that we seek to develop study groups of advanced workers, put out leaflets, newspapers, theoretical journals, consistently carry out independent propaganda work in mass activities that we engage in. This must become the main form of work. It is through our development of this that we train the advanced in doing Marxist-Leninists propaganda and agitation to the intermediate and lower strata of workers, thus raising the class consciousness of the entire working class and masses. Comrades, it is important that we not ridicule this difficult, important task, as the OL does, when they say:

They have no faith in the peoples’ ability to learn through the struggle, and so they participate in the mass work for the sole purpose of ’winning the handful of advanced workers’ to their organization.


Instead of pushing forward the work in the plants of organizing strikes, working in unions, and building up caucuses and other rank and file movements, these leftists can be found only when it comes to selling their newspapers or giving our their own leaflets. (Party Building In The U.S., October League, pp. 9 & 10)

Once again the OL waves “many happy returns” while riding the surfboard of spontaneity.

Thirdly, the correct application of our strategic principles to the concrete conditions means that we uphold a correct view of polemics. Our view of polemics is a key aspect of our view of unity. There are two lines on this question.

From the very beginning the OL has shown a disdain for drawing lines of demarcation, a fear of ideological struggle – leading to a line of unprincipled unity, conciliationism, and liquidation of the truth that Marxism develops in the course of struggle in the struggle against falsehood.

At that Guardian Forum; attended by RU, BWC, PRRWO, Guardian and OL, the renegade Klonsky put forward the basic line of how to fight “ultra-leftism” as mainly by not abandoning the mass struggle, to build the united front. He said:

...We’ve got to unite the communist forces and we’ve got to combat everything that stands in the way of unity, whether it be on the level of divisive rumor spreading and gossip which the police and revisionist use to their advantage – the approach of always putting differences first or looking for differences as the main thing. We have to see that within every communist party there is a sharp struggle. We’ve got to build unity and we’ve got to fight for unity...So we’ve seen a spirit among all groups represented here today. This has encouraged us a great deal. If we all stick together and take a principled stand in a very short time we’ll be able to forge a Communist party... (ed.)

Here the OL reveals its spineless, liberal, all unity attitude toward party building that has led straight to Menshevism. Lenin, in the preface to the Collection Of Twelve Years wrote:

The old, and in many respects outdated, polemic with Struve is important as an instructive example, one that shows the practical and political value of irreconcilable theoretical polemics.. Revolutionary Social-Democrats have been accused times without number of an excessive penchant for such polemics with the ’Economists,’ the Bernsteinians, and the Mensheviks. Today, too, these accusations are being bandied about by the ’conciliators’ inside the Social-Democratic Party and the ’sympathizing’ semi-socialists outside it. (“Preface to the Collection Twelve Years,” LCW, volume 13, pages 97-98)

And in The Declaration of The Editorial Board of Iskra, Lenin wrote:

As we have said, the ideological unity of Russian Social-Democrats still has to be created, and to this end it is in our opinion, necessary to have an open and all embracing discussion of the fundamental questions of principle and tactics raised by the present day economists, Bernsteinites and critics. Before we can unite, and in order that we may unite, we must first of all draw firm and definite lines of demarcation. Otherwise our unity will be purely fictitious, it will conceal the prevailing confusion and hinder its radical elimination...open polemics conducted in full view of all Russian Social Democrats and class conscious workers are necessary and desirable in order to clarity the depths of existing conditions in order to afford discussion of disputed questions from all angles, in order to combat the extremes into which representatives, not only of various views, but even of various localities, or various specialities of the revolutionary movement inevitably fall. Indeed as stated above, we regard one of the drawbacks of the present-day movement to be the absence of open polemics between avowedly differing views, the efforts to conceal differences on fundamental questions. (LCW Vol. 4)

Now comrades, does not the renegade Klonsky of 1973 sound like the philistine liberal who sees differences as a bad thing to be covered up, who sees struggle and splits always as a bad thing, and that the road forward is to all stick together. And has not the OL failed its responsibility to engage in open polemics, denied the educational value of them to the Communist Movement and in fact used polemics only to defend its raggedly line when attacked, in fact responded with a slanderous method and guilt by association tactics. And does not the OL of today still represent this bourgeois liberal trend with its “Call To The Party”, by stating:

...We must move towards unity with great speed and oppose endlessly redefining our differences and eternally drawing even further lines of demarcation – outside the organization structure of the Party...

Comrades, how can these people have the audacity to say this when this Party has no program – but only vague incorrect principles of unity! This is out and out Menshevism. Even the bankrupt RU put forward a draft program in its rush to form its Menshevik Party. But the frenzied, petty-bourgeois madness of the OL, trying to scare others into this Menshevik formation by raising up the danger of war and fascism, refuses to even put forward a program. This is an affront to even the most backward elements. And the OL has the audacity to say that this is not “a-get-rich-quick-scheme.”

This line of the OL comes out clearer in other places in the “Call” as they equate weaknesses in the course of sharp ideological struggle with splits, and strength with quantitative growth, and then claim that they have passed the test and proceed to beat their breasts for never having a split. Every genuine Bolshevik knows that separation of genuine from sham is a good thing and reflects the truth of one dividing into two. Of course the OL has never had a split as only firmness and correct class stand based on the principles of MLMTT provides the basis to draw lines of demarcation and purges our ranks.

With WV, although they like to brag about how good they are in polemicizing against the RU and OL, when it comes to defending their own line on party building, they turn tail and run, or resort to bourgeois maneuvering. At a coalition around IWWD, when the revolutionary wing polemicized against their “Premises” and demanded struggle, WV responded that what we had to do was get down with the practical problems of the coalition, and that party building wasn’t a principle of unity of the coalition, they couldn’t discuss it since the people they brought “might get offended.” Their actual line as shown in practice also came forward clearly at the recent forum in Boston when comrades from PRRWO and ourselves again pushed them to defend their line. Their practice there was summed up in a joint editorial with the PRRWO in the February Palante:

WVO was determined not to get into the main questions involved in the polemic. The essence of the struggle with the WVO line on party building, as expressed in their article “Party Building and the Anti-Revisionist Theoretical Premises,” is that it is an ahistorical analysis of party building which shows no motion resulting from the fierce two line struggle to build the party, contains a conciliationist line which distorts the true nature of the treacherous revisionists, belittles the struggle against opportunism, and substitutes these “Anti-Theoretical Premises” for MLMTT, calling them “the ideological foundation of the party” and the “sole safeguard against degeneration.” We think WVO puts forward the line to put itself forward as the “leading circle with the overall most correct line”–a hegemonic and sectarian stance toward the genuine wing of the movement.

WVO refused to defend their line and in the process prove, on the basis of MLMTT, that their analysis is correct. The genuine wing has been laying our clearly how we see the development of the party building motion and the main questions– periods, fusion, tactic, key link that this involves. WVO tried to stay as far away from this as possible. They raised struggle over questions not to focus in on the main questions, but to deviate us from them.

Their attempt was to have us go through abstract debate over “what is ideology” and ”conscious and unconscious revisionism, without interrelating it to a defense of their Views on how revisionists are “muddled and confused” or why we should enter into unity of action with them. In fact, in their attempt to slip and slide, they had the nerve to say that the ideology of the proletariat was not dialectical and historical materialism and that the ideology of the bourgeoisie was not metaphysics and idealism–a clear revision of MLMTT.

They struggle around the question of the advanced not to interrelate it to the historical fusion of the communist and workers movements, giving rise to the different periods in party building, the two tactics flowing from the key link – Marxist-Leninists Unite and Win the Advanced to Communism on the basis of a correct political line. Instead, their forces was to struggle over the question of the intermediate and backward. They did not defend their views on how the advanced are just “open to socialism” and even went so far as to distort reality, saying, for example, that leaders such as Malcolm X and George Jackson were “unique” and not that they were examples of the historical truth that every working class brings forth advanced fighters who lead the masses and struggle to find ever more scientific answers to the questions raised by the revolution, driving them to the study of Marxism-Leninism. These are examples of how WVO attempted to sidetrack the struggle, keeping it off the crucial questions and instead attempted to take us off into abstract trips. Under the smokescreen of demagogy and sophistry, they tried to evade defending their bankrupt line on party building.

In short, comrades, we think that this opportunist stance on polemics by WVO, OL, while constantly crying for unity, is best summed up by Comrade Lenin in the Liquidators Against The Party,

In order to build the party, it is not enough to be able to shout ’unity’, it is necessary, in addition, to have some sort of political program, a program of political action. The bloc of liquidators, of Trotsky, the Vpreryodists, the Poles Bolshevik Party members, Paris Mensheviks, etc., etc., was foredoomed to a scandalous downfall because it was built on a lack of principles, on hypocrisy and empty phrases. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if these sighers finally got down to solving for themselves the most complex and difficult question: Whom do they want to unite with? If it is with the liquidators then why not say so without grimacing; if they are against uniting with the liquidators, then what sort of unity are they sighing for? (LCW: 18-24)

WVO and OL, since you have so much in common and both are hollering so loud about uniting, why don’t you stop grimacing and come straight out with the call – “Mensheviks Unite!”


This last section will be focused on drawing out the essence of the Bolshevik method of fighting Revisionism, and exposing the Menshevik line, especially the “new theory” of WV, their Anti-Revisionist Premises, which on each of these essential points fundamentally revises Marxism. We will not be able to include a thorough criticism of the article in Workers Viewpoint #3, “The Anti-Revisionist Premises and Party Building,” a criticism which we think is important to be done. The opportunism represented in the article must be refuted point for point, aspect for aspect and we plan to do just that in future polemics, but throughout this speech we will draw out the essence of their menshevism. At this time we will draw out the system of views that makes this yet another new theory of the opportunism, the work of the enraged petty-bourgeoisie.

Based on our study of the science of MLMTT, we think that there are three essential points to the Bolshevik method of struggle against opportunism under the signboard of Marxism. They are: l) the struggle against revisionism is our long term strategic task. There is no easy formula, no quick 1, 2, 3 safeguard against revisionism. 2) Revisionism is a historically developed social phenomenon, with deep class roots. The ideological root of all opportunism is the bowing to spontaneity. 3) We must fight against revisionism in both the international communist movement, as a general trend and in its nationally specific form. We’d now like to lay out each of these three points.


1) We must draw lessons from the contemporary international communist movement on the long term struggle against revisionism. In the People’s Republic of China, since liberation, the Chinese Communist Party has gone through four major two-line struggles, struggles between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie within the party itself. The struggle against revisionism was not completed in 1949 with the seizure of power by the proletariat and the peasantry; nor when Liu Shao-chi and Lin Piao were exposed and removed from positions of power. This can be clearly seen today in the struggle currently taking place inside the party against the Right Deviationist Wind. This experience has been summed up in the Party’s Tenth Congress documents in the brilliant statement, “To study Marxism and criticize revisionism is our long-term task for strengthening the building of our party ideologically.”

This is a further development of the point made by Marx in his letter to Lassalle in 1852, “Party struggles lend a party strength and vitality; the greatest proof of a party’s weakness is its diffuseness and the blurring of clear demarcations; a party becomes stronger by purging itself....” History teaches that as long as there are classes, there will be class struggle, and this class struggle will be reflected inside the proletarian party. Therefore, during the period up to the seizure of power, and during the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Socialism, we will have to constantly fight the bourgeoisie’s agents within the party, who use the signboard of Marxism as a cover for their class collaborationist lines. It would appear that no one who has even the slightest acquaintance with Marxism, who claim to be anti-revisionist, could think that this class struggle would end soon, that the two line struggle in the party will cease, that we could kick revisionism totally out of our ranks once and for all. Comrades, allow us to present the new theory of WV, which, in word and practice, goes fundamentally against objective law, M-L theory.

WV says,

Having a firmer and stronger grasp of these theoretical premises is the only safeguard against degeneration. The only guarantee is to detect shades and forms of revisionism, defeat its particular manifestations and repudiate it as an integral whole. (their emphasis) (Premises, page 27)

Now comrades what is this but raising the red flag to criticize the red flag, talking about new premises, to fight revisionism, while in fact, revising openly basic principles of Marxism. There can be no repudiation of revisionism as “as an integral whole.” What there is, is a steel to steel struggle on each and every class question, tit for tat, line by line, aspect by aspect.

And what of this new contribution of the only safeguard against degeneration, the only guarantee to detect shades and forms of revisionism? Is this part of the treasure house of Marxism, or the dung heap of the Rockefellers and Brezhnevs? If the answer isn’t already clear, allow us to make it so. The Communist Party of China in a change in their Constitution reflecting lessons learned in the continuation of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution state,

The Communist Party of China has strengthened itself and grown in the course of struggle against both Right and ’left’ opportunist lines. Comrades throughout the party must have the revolutionary spirit of daring to go against the tide, must adhere to the principles of practicing Marxism, and not revisionism, working for unity and not for splits, and being open and aboveboard and not engaging in intrigues and conspiracy, must be good at correctly distinguishing contradictions among the people from those between ourselves and the enemy and correctly handling them, must develop the style of integrating theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the masses and practising criticism and self-criticism, and must train millions of successors so as to ensure that the Party’s course will advance forever along the Marxist line. (CPC, Tenth Party Congress Documents, pages 63-64)

This comrades, is the only safeguard for genuine Marxist-Leninist. But the petty-bourgeoisie cannot be satisfied with this, it is too rigid for them, cramps their style, as Lenin said, “ossifies their thought,” so they must develop new safeguards, eclectically taking a piece of Marxism while cutting out its heart, and come up with their new formula. This is exactly what WV has done. Check out this formula, they say that incorrect political lines must be systematized and generalized into their roots. We will see in a few minutes that never, not once do they in their article go to the ideological root of opportunism.

WV goes on to say that their premises, belittling of theory, pragmatism, centrism, chauvinism and bourgeois democracy, “are the basis of deviations that have characterized revisionists historically,“ and ”until these premises are studied and grasped firmly, the communist movement and communist organizations will degenerate as the CP., P.L. and others have.” (Premises, page 29) Finally, they say that the movement should,

struggle with erroneous lines, around burning questions of the day based on the premises. In the process we hope other comrades would formulate and suggest other anti-revisionist premises. (Ibid)

This then is their fairly complete system, their formula for “how our communist movement would mature and prevent its degeneration into revisionism.” (Premises, p. 29)

What does this system lead to, if taken to its logical conclusion? First, it results in diverting the struggle for Party, by belittling the struggle over political line, the key link, and substituting for it the task of studying bourgeois ideology, like reading books on pragmatism by Dewey; reading Thomas Jefferson ’Bourgeois Democracy,’ in order to “deepen the premises.” The study of Marxism is downplayed, since it is only the “premise of the premise,” but not actually of the premises (remember, “the premises are the basis for erroneous lines”), and in the final analysis, all those who uphold this line follow the slogan, “Study Revisionism, Criticize Marxism,” the fundamentally opposite line of genuine Marxist-Leninists.

Second, it further belittles the struggle over political line, since upholders of the premises will be seeking out whether or not someone is affected by chauvinist thinking, whether their thinking is pragmatist or whether their ideas are (mutating) centrists. In short, it leads to fixating on motives, and not actually struggling around x the concrete political lines, seeking to develop the correct in opposition to the incorrect. This is not something we think might happen, WV has already summed this up as a major problem for their organization.

Third, since dogmatism, anarcho-syndicalism, bourgeois feminism, narrow-nationalism, social-pacifism, to name a few, were not listed as one of the premises, and since they have all been important ideological deviations at certain points in history, the list of premises, according to WV’s method of “adding new premises,” should be doubled. So then we’d have ten, maybe fifteen premises, in short a shopping list of bourgeois ideology. And we’re supposed to take this list, study it, go out among the masses and struggle around erroneous lines based on this shopping list. This leads to the total bowing to spontaneity, to chasing the women’s movement, looking for feminism, in the workers movement trying to find pragmatism, searching the communist movement for illusions without the leading role of Marxist-Leninist theory, all the while claiming that the “movement doesn’t understand ideology,” and “the premises are opening up new ground in theory.” Workers Viewpoint, this is madness. You’re the ones who do not understand ideology, who divorce it from political line, and through your consistent resistance to criticism and philistine attitude toward struggle, the only new ground you broke with the premises was the tunnel out of the revolutionary wing and dead into the swamp!


2) We’d like to now talk about the class basis and ideological roots of revisionism in capitalist society. In analyzing the class roots of revisionism we look to Lenin’s classic “Marxism and Revisionism,” which we strongly recommend every Communist and advanced element to study.

“The inevitability of Revisionism is determined by its class roots in modern society. Revisionism is an international phenomenon,” Lenin states, and then elaborates by saying,

Wherein lies its inevitability in capitalist society? Why is it more profound than the differences of national peculiarities and of degrees of capitalist development? Because in every capitalist country, side by side with the proletariat, there are always broad strata of the petty bourgeoisie, small proprietors... These new small producers are just as inevitably being cast again into the ranks of the proletariat. It is quite natural that the petty-bourgeois world outlook should again and again crop up in the ranks of the broad Workers Parties. (“Marxism and Revisionism” in Against Revisionism, page 117)

We have seen the truth of this analysis many times. An important part of the current anti-revisionist communist movement is composed of former members of the petty-bourgeoisie Many of these forces abandoned their former class stand, adopted the stand of the proletariat, took up its science, and today are part of the Revolutionary Wing. But many of these forces, in leaving their petty-bourgeois positions of privileges, never fundamentally abandoned that class stand; and seizing on certain aspects of Marxism, eclectically combined it with the world outlook of the small producers to produce “new theories.” These new theories are designed to oppose both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat; to seek to develop an independent, stable position, “free” from being crushed by the bourgeoisie, and “free” to exploit the proletariat. This is the fundamental stand adopted by the leadership of the organizations in the opportunist wing and political line of the “nation of a new type,” “the united front against imperialism,” and its so-called “ideology of anti-imperialism,” and the “Anti-revisionist premises” are examples of these new theories.

In examining the class roots of revisionism, we also have to look at that small stratum of workers which, in every imperialist country, is ideologically, and politically trained to be the “labor lieutenants of capital.” The Albanian comrades in Two Opposing Lines in the World Trade Union Movement state,

Historically, the bourgeoisie of every country has brought off some of these qualified workers, the working class aristocracy, and detached them from the masses of the proletariat by providing them with easy jobs and posts with fewer headaches but greater rewards. Fat salaries, favors and advantages brought about their gradual estrangement from the working class, both economically and ideologically. By backing the bourgeoisie, the aristocracy of the working class turned into a fifth column, spreading bourgeois ideology in the ranks of the working class and trade union movement. (Page 68)

It is this strata including both the Meany, Abel type and the Miller, Sadlowoski type, that at every step, overtly or covertly, through militant rhetoric or outright fascist mongering attempts to subvert the proletariat, through spreading the theory of spontaneity.

It is these two groups, the petty-bourgeoisie and the bribed strata of the working class, that as Lenin said, “have proved to be the main social support of these tendencies and the conductors of bourgeois influence into the proletariat.”

Comrades, the identification of these class roots is an essential component of fighting revisionism. It forces us to look at what the actual implications of the policies and programs flowing from revisionist lines are, and what must be the proletarian line, its policies and programs. It helps ensure that the sharp ideological struggle against revisionism does not degenerate into an academic squabble of ideas, into a petty-bourgeois tea-party. It does so by forcing the struggle against revisionism to be always connected to political line. This is not just our view, something we are speculating on. If comrades study the documents criticizing Lin Piao and Confucius, one of the most important of these is the “Social Basis of Lin Piao’s Anti-Party Clique.” This pamphlet does not speak of Lin Piao as an exception, does not see Lin Piao’s revisionist line as a “reflex,” as something that just “jumped out,” that the problem was Lin Piao’s “methodology.” This is the way WV describes O.L.’s Menshevik line on Party Building and reforms. What the pamphlet does bring out is toe fact that Lin Piao was the representative of a class, that he had a social base in the newly emerged bourgeoisie and overthrown landlord and Bourgeois class and that his line served the interest of that social base.

It showed how Lin Piao’s political line attacked the dictatorship of the proletariat, and had as its aim the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This is a fine example of criticizing revisionism.

And what do we get from WV in their premises on the class roots of revisionism, on the petty-bourgeoisie and the labor aristocracy? Not one word, not even a good hint. In this safeguard, all the struggle is around ideas, ideas which are divorced from their class roots. The only mention made of objective factors is the existence of political liberties and bourgeois democratic rule. These political liberties are described as “conditions that maintain the separation of the mass movement of the working class from the communist movement.” Workers Viewpoint, your feet must hurt from dropping so many rocks on them. First, no mention of class roots, then when speaking of the objective factors, you fundamentally revise MLMTT again. The existence of political liberties is a good thing that communists struggle for then when they don’t exist (like in Russia in 1905, remember?). They are good because they allow for the fullest exposure of the sham nature of bourgeois democracy, allow us to more clearly point out its class nature and is a condition that allows for the broadest participation in political struggle by the working class. The only logical conclusion to be drawn from this revisionist position that political liberty is a condition that separates socialism from the working class, is that we should do away with this condition, that in fact fascism is desirable for the working class. No wonder WV tries to hide their politics so carefully. Lenin said,

Even the best representatives of democracy confine themselves to bewailing discord, vacillation and renegacy. Marxists, however, seek for the class roots of this social phenomenon.

Workers Viewpoint does not even stand up as one of the “best representatives of democracy.”


In addition to identifying the class roots, the class basis for revisionism, we must also grasp its ideological roots. Lenin repeatedly stressed that the bowing to spontaneity is the root of all opportunism. Comrade Stalin summed up, “The theory of spontaneity is a theory of opportunism, a theory of worshipping the spontaneity of the labor movement, a theory which actually repudiates the leading role of the vanguard of the working class, of the party of the working class.” (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, page 23)

This theory of spontaneity has the conscious elements tail behind the mass movement, “pushing forward” the economic struggle, or “building-up” the struggles for all reforms, or, as clearly stated by the RU, “build the workers movement,” the OL “build the fight back,” or WV, “build the struggle against war and fascism.” As Stalin says, this theory is opposed to the Party raising the masses to the level of political consciousness, to the Party leading the movement and that “It scarcely needs proof that the demolition of this theoretical falsification is a preliminary condition for the creation of truly revolutionary parties in the West.” (Foundations of Leninism, page 26)

Lenin, in criticizing Bernsteinism showed how the bowing to spontaneity was at its ideological root. He said,

To determine its conduct from case to case, to adapt itself to the events of the day and to the chopping and changing of petty-politics to forget the primary interests of the proletariat and the basic features of the whole capitalist system, of all capitalist evolution, to sacrifice the real or assumed advantages of the moment -such is the policy of revisionism. (“Marxism and Revisionism”, page 116)

From this we can see that the theory of spontaneity and the policy of revisionism laid out above lead to an infinite number of forms of revisionism. For example, when the OL pushes support for the ERA they take the “assumed interests” of the moment, passage of legislation, and separate it from the primary interest of proletarian revolution, not grasping the fact that the ERA provides no new political liberties, does not expand the field of struggle of the working class, especially working women. In fact, it abandons our real strategic and tactical duty to expose the sham nature of this reform in particular and the class content of bourgeois democracy in general. The OL consistent with its Menshevik line and petty-bourgeois stand, “adopts itself to the events of the day,” and goes with the motion of the feminists, lesbians, and bourgeois liberals.

In Boston, on the busing question, this same fundamental line and stand shows itself in a different form, this time bowing to the spontaneous struggle of Afro-Americans for equality education and tailing the liberal bourgeoisie, NAACP, Trots, and CP despite their whimpers of no united action.

It is to this ideological root of bowing to spontaneity that we must take all struggles against opportunism. When we do this we heighten our grasp of strategy and tactics, of minimum and maximum program. Going to the bowing to spontaneity in the struggle against revisionism is an integral part of our development of the key link, political line.

Again, comrades, let’s look at the new theorists. In the Premises, WV does not mention bowing to spontaneity. They talk a lot about going to the roots of revisionism, but they do not speak to the Marxist-Leninist position on this, what they elaborate is their own theory, once again. They didn’t even pay lip service to this, didn’t spend a sentence or two on spontaneity as a cover for their revision. No, they come right on out front, standing naked as a jay bird under their long-coat of “creative application,” borrowed from the RU’s vast wardrobe.

And in regard to this infinite variety of forms that revisionism can take, they agree. They say, “For revisionism, based on bourgeois ideology takes an infinite variety of forms.” But, in the next sentence they add, “But these four (? ed.) premises, are some of the most common basis for revisionist’s political positions in the U. S.”

Infinite number of forms, of course. But bowing to spontaneity the root? No! “It’s our premises.” Once again, revisionism, pure and simple.


3) The last part of this section will deal with the general and national character of revisionism. We have already stated that “Revisionism is an international phenomenon.” As proletarian internationalists, we have a responsibility to participate in the struggle against this “bourgeois ideological trend.” The current international struggle is against the camp headed by the “CP”SU and their lackey parties around the world. The struggle in the past has focused around the “three peacefuls.” Since that line has been more exposed among Marxist-Leninist and progressive people among the world, the revisionists have had to drop aspects of this line, and come forward with new formulations, like once again mouthing support for national liberation struggles in order to further their own imperialists’ plans. The focus and forms of this international struggle will change, but the essence remains the same, the class struggle between the proletariat and bourgeoisie.

It is important that we do not belittle this responsibility and see that our own struggles in the U. S. are the only important thing or that we have “an exceptional” struggle in this country, unlike any other. No, comrades, this view is one of chauvinism and American exceptionalism, having a long history in the communist movement in the U.S. from Lovestone to Avakian and his new nations. Our struggle in the U.S. is a particular, part and parcel of the world revolution and the international struggle against revisionism.

But there is another serious deviation that is made on this question. We must be careful not to think that because we criticize Brezhnev and the Soviet Social imperialist, because we criticize Allende and Castro, we have fulfilled our tasks. As is clear with our Chinese Comrades, they could not stop at leading, along with the Party of Labor of Albania, the international struggle against revisionism, it was necessary to fight against this bourgeois ideological trend within their own country, in fact within their own party.

Comrade Lenin struggled against one form of revisionism in the international communist movement which was called Bernsteinism. Bernstein was best summed-up, “The movement is everything, the final aim nothing.” He was ruthless in his exposure of this bourgeois line. And he also ruthlessly struggled with those inside Russia inside the ranks of the Social-Democratic movement who refused to struggle against revisionism in Russia, in its nationally specific form. He said,

To talk of freedom of criticism and of Bernsteinism as a condition for uniting the Russian Social-Democrats and not to explain how Russian Bersteinism has manifested itself and what peculiar fruits it has born, amounts to talking with the aim of saying nothing. (What Is to Be Done? page 131)

He went on to criticize this Russian Bersteinism which he summed-up and called economism. This is scientifically laid out in What is to Be Done?

We believe that the forces in the Revolutionary Wing have, proceeding from a lower to a higher, carried out this task, especially around the revisionists, opportunists lines on party building. We think that our criticism of OL’s strategy and tactics in the March 1976 Palante, is a contribution to this.

And what of WV? Do they see the need to develop this criticism of nationally specific forms of revisionism? They say that we must sum-up the experiences and resolution of line struggles internationally and in America. They go on, “Particular importance should be attached to ferreting out the nationally specific forms of revisionism in the histories of the “CP”USA, the POC, and PLP. That’s what it takes, and what’s necessary to end this particular pre-party period in order to build an anti-revisionist party that would be safeguarded from degeneration. This safeguard is what we call anti-revisionist premises.”

So we see that they have already summed-up the international class struggle, and the nationally specific forms of revisionism, a tremendous task, and what’s more, they did it all by themselves. They say,

We derived these four (? ed.) premises from specific struggles with the R. U. and 0. L. and other communist organizations.
We derived the premises of bourgeois democracy from studying the implications of O.L.’s Boston busing plan...
We derived the premises of pragmatism from the experience and study of the PLP and other organizations which have degenerated. (Premises, page 29)

Comrades, let us look a little closer at these premises to see whether they are nationally specific forms, as they claim to be, or the frantic concoctions of the anarchistic petty-bourgeois intellectuals.

Pragmatism, Bourgeois Democracy, Chauvinism, Centrism, none of these are nationally specific. All of these are general ideological deviations found in every advanced capitalist country. None of these represents a summing-up of a specific system of views on particular questions of politics, organization, military affairs, etc. To take the specific system of views developed in the area of political economy by the arch-Revisionist Browder, or the comprehensive revision of Marxist-Leninist principles on the national question contained in the RU’s nation of a new type, or the “two stage revolution in the U. S.” strategy, with corresponding ideology and tactics: to take these and replace them with general deviations, all of which can be found in each of these specific forms, amounts to replacing the struggle against economism with criticism of Bernsteinism, which was precisely the object of the polemics in What Is To Be Done? Here we see how WV rendered Lenin “more profound,” with their Anti-Revisionist Premises. In fact they so thoroughly “contributed to theory” that they develop the “Anti-Theoretical Revisionist Premises.”

Comrades, we must staunchly struggle with this new theory, thoroughly expose its revisionist content, and strengthen our understanding of how to build the party on an ideological plane while firmly grasping the key link of political line.


In closing, comrades and friends, we’d like to thank you all for the revolutionary dedication that it took to sit through tonight’s long and at times complicated presentation. We attempted to lay out the Bolshevik line on our central task and point out the Menshevik character of the opportunist wing’s line on this question, especially that of the OL and WV. We anxiously await criticism and struggle, both here tonight and in the future, through discussion and writings. We’d like to close with a quote from WITBD which most accurately sums up the proletarian indignation we feel for the pus of the opportunist wing and dare any of them to respond:

We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies and we have to advance under their almost constant fire. We have combined voluntarily, precisely for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not to retreat into the adjacent marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now several among us begin to cry out; let us go into this marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: how conservative you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road. Oh, yes gentlemen. You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us and don’t besmirch the grand word “freedom” for we too are “free:” to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh. (What Is To Be Done? volume 5, page 355)