Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Committee for Scientific Socialism (M-L)

Build Proletarian Unity Through Intensified Struggle: Expose the Right Line of All-Unity and the ’Left’ Line of All-Struggle

First Published: Forward!, No. 1, June 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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What is necessary at this time to unify communists and win the advanced to communism? The revolutionary situation in the United States is intensifying and there is unity within the communist movement that the party program, strategy and tactics must be developed, discussed, and the opportunist lines on these questions struggled against in order to found the party. Objectively, conditions exist for the consolidation of communists and fusing the communist movement with the revolutionary and progressive movements spontaneously arising. And yet the most fierce struggle is being waged within the communist movement against “calls for unity.” How can this be so? This is indeed a contradiction. It is precisely this question which we will address within this paper. Our presentation shall focus on the policy which is necessary to unite Marxist-Leninists, on the theoretical foundations of the party program, strategy and tactics, and upon the current status and the history of the two-line struggle within the communist movement.

With the publication of A Proposal Concerning the General Line on Party-Building for the Communist Movement in the U.S. the C.S.S. (M-L) presented the Marxist-Leninist analysis of party-building in the United States. This was the integration of the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought with the particularity of the concrete situation faced by all American communists and advanced elements. Firmly grasping the relationship between the subjective and the objective factors for revolution and clearly accounting for the contradictions within the communist movement and between the communist movement and the spontaneously arising movements against capitalist exploitation and oppression, the questions of theoretical, ideological, political and organizational lines were examined, developed and presented for all to see. The correctness of this theoretical work and ideological struggle are being quite clearly verified by recent events.

The theoretical and ideological lines of the communist movement are the consciousness of the subjective factor in terms of the universal and particular experience of the proletariat and of their movements (class struggle) to abolish classes and class contradictions. Over the past five to ten years there has been a qualitative change in consciousness among Marxist-Leninist forces. This has been manifested in the theoretical demarcation of the communist movement from the revisionist, Trotskyist and consolidated opportunist political parties contending for leadership of the revolutionary and progressive movements of the American people. This is concretely manifested by the unity of the communist movement over the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, over the acceptance of the CPC and PLA leadership of the international communist movement, and over the absolute necessity to expose, isolate and defeat the international trend of revisionism, particularly that of the CPUSA and, now, the PSP.

With this change in consciousness party-building was objectively moved forward. However, many of the more spontaneous elements within the communist movement, bowing to the objective reality of the long historical development of capitalism in the absence of communist consciousness, leadership and organization, mistook this change in the process of party-building for the actual conditions which are necessary in order to consolidate a communist party.

Thus, over the last two years we have witnessed the formation of the CLP, the RCP and now the OL’s Unity Conference. What is misunderstood by these forces is the absolute necessity to develop our ideological lines for revolution in the U.S. While currently there is no firm agreement around a commonly accepted meaning of these terms (theoretical and ideological lines), we can say that the period we are in now is that in which the communist movement must develop its knowledge of the international situation as it affects proletarian revolution in the U.S., its knowledge of the development of American capitalism, and its knowledge of the classes of U.S. society. Each of the forces mentioned above, along with the “revolutionary” wing, reflects both the growing conditions for unity within the communist movement and the strong commitment and desire of all communists and advanced elements to found a genuine communist party. However, following the long-developed trend of right opportunism, these “left” forces allow subjective desire to outstrip objective conditions and thus end up belittling theory, themselves subject to spontaneity.

For communists, the existence of the objective and subjective factors for revolution means that although communist strategy and tactics can advance or retard the development of the historical process of revolution, they are not the determining factor. Objective reality is unfolding independent of our will. The absolute necessity for the consciousness, leadership and organization of the communist party is to create and maintain the conditions which will give rise to the victory of the proletariat in its struggle for classless society. Based on our consciousness of both the universality and particularity of the development of the revolutionary process with its objective and subjective aspects, the political and organizational lines of the communist movement are the conscious activity of the subjective factor (the communist forces) as it influences the development of the objective factor (proletarian revolution).

Since the degeneration of the CPUSA our movement has been objectively united in the struggle for communist consciousness, leadership and organization. The struggle against trotskyism, revisionism and opportunism around many specific questions has led to the exposure of opportunism within the communist movement, yet the development of full and complete programmatic lines still awaits the development of the objective factor as it is historically determined (ideological line).

Both the right opportunist OL and the “left” opportunist “revolutionary” wing hold that our knowledge has developed to the extent that a full and all-around party program and strategy for revolution are “immediately around the comer.” However, as events shall prove, they will end up falling flat on their face.

Living in the heart of the world’s number one, yet-declining, superpower, the OL holds that the direction of the main blow is Soviet social-imperialism, because it is the ascending aspect of the principal contradiction in the world today (that between the two superpowers and the oppressed nations) and thus the major force for a third world war (The Call, May 31, 1976, p. 5). What they fail to grasp is that they live inside the other superpower. This, comrades, is the first step toward the social chauvinist, Second Internationalist stand of defending one’s own bourgeoisie in the event of imperialist war. Yet the OL holds that they possess the requisite knowledge of revolution in the U.S. to put forward the correct party program. The “revolutionary wing” puts forward that agreement on their party-building lines will insure the development of the party program, strategy and tactics, yet nowhere do they advance a concrete plan. However, as is clear for all to see, the main danger is still from the right.

The struggle within the communist movement has been over the political line which will bring forth the founding of the Marxist-Leninist communist party. This struggle has been waged from a strong unity over organizational line. Nevertheless, our unity on basic organizational principles (one leading center, party organs, party organizations, use of criticism/self-criticism), has not included unity on the essence of the party–the vanguard consciousness and leadership of the class. Thus, we have witnessed much organization-building, but little struggle for consciousness.

The struggle over the program and strategy for party-building, and the ensuing tactics as pursued by organized forces within the communist movement (at IWD ’75 and ’76, ALD, Mayday, etc.), has led to the further development of the two aspects of party-building. On the one hand is exhibited the swift movement toward consolidation of their opportunism by the “belittlers of theory.” As has been mentioned already, there has been the “founding” of the CLP and the RCP. Recently, this backward trend has been furthered by the OL’s Unity Conference. The OL has failed to win over the communist movement. Virtually every communist organization, especially those who have led the struggle over the past five years, are united in their opposition to the OL’s call. CAP has broken with the “holy alliance,” is conducting and putting forward their criticism/self-criticism, and is in the process of putting forward a line on the central task.

Further to the right is the Guardian which, degenerating to revisionism, is maintaining their “independent Marxist” stand, while fully repudiating class struggle, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the proletariat as the most advanced class. Beginning with their analysis of Portugal right up to Angola and the July 4th Coalition, they consistently deny the necessity of armed struggle to smash the bourgeois state, the principles of the united front built upon the analysis of classes and class forces, and the essence of the party. The WVO and others have taken up the struggle to expose the Guardian, but this must be carried through by all communist forces. The thread common to all these lines is the attitude of “I have the answer, here I go, follow me,” which is the outward manifestation of all unity, no struggle from the right and all struggle, no unity from the “left.” In essence, these are but a no struggle position over ideological and political lines on revolution in the United States. However, we must be clear that CAP is in the process of repudiating leadership from the reformist trend and is not at this time in that trend. Neither is WC a fully consolidated force within this trend, although they appear to be impervious to criticism of the Iskra principle.

On the other hand we have genuine consciousness and leadership from many honest organized communist forces. The MLOC, above anything else, has placed the study of Marxist-Leninist theory at its proper place. The WVO has led the struggle on the ideological front first by their consistent stand in combatting revisionism, trotskyist and opportunism, secondly in the essence of their program for party-building and third in their ideological line on fascism in the U.S. ATM and Resistencia, along with PRRWO in an earlier period, have taken and put forward a principled and revolutionary stand in defeating opportunist lines on the national question and have struggled against the line of “organization is key” in coalition work. The CSS has put forward the analysis of the subjective factor, both in its universality and in its particularity, and specifically an analysis of the class forces of representative organizations within the communist movement. In the six months since the publication of the General Line, the forces as analysed have further consolidated which confirms the correctness of the analysis. In particular, MLOC, ATM and Resistencia have moved toward the revolutionary trend and PRRWO has consolidated its opportunism.

Objectively, the reformist trend is consolidating at a more rapid pace than the revolutionary trend. This is so for two reasons. First, the necessity to develop all-around knowledge of the revolutionary process is by and large an arduous and complex task, exacerbated by the absence of revolutionary leadership as it has been historically determined and by the high level of disunity between the various organizations within the communist movement. This disunity has historically been over party-building program and strategy and incomplete knowledge of the revolutionary process. Second, is the illusion of “progress” that “tactics-as-a-process” gives. Although the opportunists appear to be moving ahead, in essence, they are faltering. Of the organizations which represent the revolutionary trend, or are moving forward with it, none possess a complete knowledge of the objectively unfolding revolutionary process, each having its origins in a specific movement spontaneously arising against capitalist oppression and exploitation: WVO, the Asian national movement; MLOC, the Black national movement; ATM, the Chicano national movement; Resistencia, the Puerto Rican national movement; and CSS the student, anti-war and women’s movements. Although there is much unity (theoretically, ideologically and politically) among these organizations, there is also much struggle which must be waged in order to develop the party program, strategy and tactics for proletarian revolution in the U.S. What is necessary is a policy which will unite the revolutionary trend as the main force and the entire communist movement to develop all lines for revolution while defeating revisionism, trotskyism and consolidated opportunism within the spontaneous movements.

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