Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

C.O.R.eS. (M.L.M.)

The Right is Evermore Dangerous

First Published: Resistence, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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League for Proletarian Revolution (M-L) Note: We have received a series of responses to the article “RIGHT OPPORTUNISM IS THE MAIN DANGER” (Resistance vol.9 #1) The majority of them have been from comrades who have fundamental unity with the line. Others from comrades who completely disagree with it, or with some aspects of it. We will be printing some of the criticisms in future editions of the Communist Forum.

One basic criticism raised by just about everyone was that the article did not explain things well, that the analysis was shallow and that many points were not proven conclusively. We have basic unity with that criticism. In fact ours was a very poor defense of a correct line. We uphold as correct the following main aspects of the article:

1. Right opportunism is indeed the main danger.
2. Sectarianism, splittism, phrasemongering, etc. can constitute either right or “left” errors, and in the U.S. communist movement they come mainly from the right. And
3. The so-called Communist Party M-L is the main proponent of the right line within the U.S. anti-revisionist communist movement.

The major weaknesses of the position will be printed as part of a response to one of the criticisms in a future Communist Forum.

The article that follows represents the views of the Colorado Organization for Revolutionary Struggle (COReS M-L-M). LPR M-L unites with the main thrust and points raised in this article, and considers it a further development of the line we both uphold.

We continue to urge other comrades throughout the country to send their views to the Communist Forum by writing to:

Box 513 Trlboro Sta.
N.Y., N.Y. 10035

* * *

Responding to the call raised by LPR (ML) in the last Resistance, we present our views on how today right opportunism is the main danger in the U.S. communist movement.

In the main we have political unity with LPR’s analysis. However, we feel that the article did not completely present the question in the context of today’s conditions. The article would have been better titled “Right Opportunism is still the Main Danger and More So”. This theme would better represent what the question today is, as opposed to what it was 2 years ago. Both locally and nationally, we have recently seen honest forces vacillating about the main danger.

Right Opportunists Used “Leftism” as the Main Danger

Organisations such as the CP-OL and ATM who have always objectively held the “left” is the main danger are most responsible for the lack of a genuine party.

The October League (now the CP-ML) used the “leftism”-main-danger idea to build an organization and a “party” on the shallowest basis. “Leftism” has been the spectre in the ranks of the CP-OL resulting in an organization of blind cadre (theoretically weak or disarmed); cadre who are forced into collaboration with the bourgeoisie, the social props and the State; economist agitation and winning over “every striker”.

The CP-OL always saw the party being built around them. Even though many forces correctly criticized the OL draft program, the CP-OL made no self-criticism in finalizing it and proceeded as if reality could be bent to their subjective desires. They were told directly that theirs was not an effort that would unite the majority of M-L in the U.S. Now in their recent editorial (Vol. 6, #50, “The Call”), they again with no self-criticism are attempting to backtrack but are still avoiding the essence of the problem. This new appeal for unity is simply the same old call for “Join us on our shallow basis of unity to form a social-democratic (non-ML) party”.

The pages of the “Call” are filled with the essence of the problem: a right opportunist line that reeks of economism, reformism, class collaboration, male and national chauvinism, etc. No matter how many “times, in how many forms the CP-OL attempts to pick up the “stragglers”, so long as they have this line and leadership, no qualitative change can occur. Unfortunately, they will continue for some time to confuse certain honest elements.

The right opportunists in ATM used the sham alarm of “leftism” to consolidate that organization on “agitation” in the forefront; liquidation of the tasks of uniting the M-L and winning over genuine advanced -elements on a principled basis; and narrow nationalism. (To this day ATM has never written an article to prove their “leftism”.)

A product of this analysis is that whatever genuine elements may still exist in ATM are forced to agree with building the party around ATM under the guise of “party building is a protracted process”. The line reached the height of absurdity with ATM criticizing themselves for Great Nation chauvinism (RC, Vol. 3, #2 editorial).

It is metaphysics and subjectivism, small group mentality and petty-bourgeois outlook to think that a genuine organization can be built using an incorrect line. No one who attempts this can escape the dialectical results. A wrong analysis of the main danger, of the movement, a wrong line, an incorrect style of work are linked together to building a wrong organization.

The Petty-Bourgeoisie Vacillates More in These Times

Changing conditions nationally and internationally provide the framework for honest elements to vacillate on the main danger question. What are these conditions? The increasing danger of imperialist war and the increasing danger of fascism in the U.S.; the international polemic on the Three Worlds Theory and the differences between the CPC and the PLA; the conflict between Kampuchea and Vietnam; the apparent lack of leadership or progress in the party building effort nationally, etc.

The revolutionary proletariat does not vacillate in the face of new problems, new contradictions or things which are not immediately knowable. The revolutionary proletariat instead reaffirms its commitment and approaches problems with the science of MLM. It advances in the face of new difficulties and confidently grasps the new tasks.

But the weaker segments of the movement do not understand these new problems or would rather not have to deal with them. They have tired of the struggle to build the new party. They view the changing conditions as their class views the world: with fear, insecurity, confusion, and subjectively. Such class influences are inherent in the movement especially given its immaturity.

In the face of “insurmountable” tasks, they retreat. The retreat primarily goes in the direction of the right. Some forces may retreat into “leftism” but these are few and likely already had a substantial history of “leftism”. Their line is characterized by the attacks on the CPC and a “left” sectarian line for building the party. And if they retreat too far, they wind up with the conclusion that they are the only genuine Marxists since Lenin (a la Communist Workers Group).

Because of the resulting belittlement of theory, and an emphasis on building the mass movement and “line unity developing in the course of struggle”, ATM cadre in general has not been able to recognize the incorrectness of the “leftism”-main-danger analysis nor the right opportunism of the ATMs, line or leadership.


But for the majority, the main trend of these new vacillating elements will be to retreat to what is easiest, most familiar and apparently safest. All unity/no struggle is “easier” than a principled attempt to build a party. Apeing (mouthing) the CPC’s line is “safer” than developing a genuine program for revolution in the U.S. Joining a “party” that already has a “program”, CPC recognition and a lot of mass (economist) work is the safest retreat for these elements. It is also a retrograde trend that ignores what has already been proven: the right opportunism of the CP-OL.

But in order to take this retreat, such elements will have to repudiate struggle, repudiate the correct analysis of right opportunism as the main danger, repudiate principled unity, theoretical development and scientific analysis. (Except for the ex-RCP cadre who will find a home-away-from-home in the CP-OL.) They will have to raise the call of “’leftism’ is the main danger”.

Another retreat for developing forces will be to establish and justify the existence of new collectives. In our area and elsewhere, such forces are blindly attempting to ignore the main danger and the correct line for party building. They are consistently raising “leftism” as the main danger in the process of retreating into the safety of building new collectives that objectively can only hold back the overall party building effort. In such groups, pragmatism or empiricism is substituted for Marxism-Leninism, social-democratic forms for M-L norms, shallow unity with the masses instead of principled unity, convenient unity with a circle of familiar faces rather than the highest levels of M-L unity.

In calling for another sham unity attempt, the CP-OL leadership has correctly gauged the weaknesses of the movement. Some forces may be deceived by this and in the face of changing conditions will take the easy, dinner-party way out. We must continue to struggle with such elements in the context of correctly advancing the genuine party building effort.

Our movement (COReS as well) has grown lax in accepting and implementing its national and international responsibilities. But, the anti-revisionist movement must swing the tide directly against the right opportunists primarily and must cease acting as if party building were a p-r-o-t-r-a-c-t-e-d process.

Following the lead of LPR (ML) we see that:

1) Our movement must reaffirm right opportunism as the main danger and regrasp the task of dealing many systematic blows to the right opportunists: the CP-OL primarily, the ATM and WVO secondarily as well as where ever else right opportunism arises. The CP-OL’s call for “unity” and their “program” should be exposed by all honest organizations, both large and small. The results should be made known internationally, to the CPC as well as others.
2) Lastly, each of us has the task of developing and implementing line and methods for building a true communist party. We must participate fully and do everything necessary in our groups and local work to make this possible. We are too much absorbed in our individual areas. We definitely need to continue our local work but we need to participate in national efforts as well. Our task is not to let someone else who is older or larger build the party for us to join.

The CP-OL, RCP, CLP, “Wing”, WVO, MLOC, ATM have made it clear they see the party being built around themselves. Cadre who are still honest (in those organisations) and individuals should break with these sham attempts and demand of the honest organizations that they seriously engage in advancing a genuine party building effort.

COReS will be working to correct our past errors of failing to take the national party building tasks seriously. We think that the conditions demand of all genuine organizations and collectives that they likewise put new priorities on the party building effort. We must all be able to say by the end of this year that our participation produced qualitative results towards building that party. Too much we have relied on regional victories against the opportunists and worried only about chasing them out of our backyards. This is good but not enough to defeat the opportunists. We are confident that not only can the movement correct its errors but also that we can move closer to completing our central task and developing the forces for socialist revolution in the U.S.