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A Letter to the O.L.: Opportunism on International Situation


First Published: Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 1, No. 8, August 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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August 29th Movement Introduction: We received a copy of the following letter addressed to the October League well over a month ago. The October league has refused to answer the criticisms in the letter. We unite with the thrust of the criticism contained in the letter and we believe that it is our duty to publish it in order to show HOW in fact, the October League responds to criticisms from the masses. Secondly, we believe that the letter contributes some understanding of the issue of whether revolution is the main trend in the world today or not. We encourage our readers to share their views on this most important question, as well as on any other topics of interest to our movement.

June 25, 1976
Dear Friends,

We have just finished reading the interview with October League chairman, Michael Klonsky, on the international situation in the Call dated 5/3l/76. In this interview he states: “A few years ago, it was correct to say that ’revolution is the main trend in the world today’. Now this statement is no longer complete or applicable to the present conditions. Today BOTH the factors for war and revolution are developing together. By saying that both factors are developing together, we are clearly emphasizing the growing danger of a war. In this way, we take note of the changes since 1970 and help people get prepared.”

While we agree that the factors for both war and revolution are increasing and that the people must get prepared for war, we disagree that the statement ’revolution is the main trend in the world today’ is no longer complete or applicable. Revolution is the main trend in the world today and will continue to be so long as we are in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. War is the objective situation in which revolution may occur in the future and has occurred in the past. As the Chinese comrades say, “No matter if war gives rise to revolution or revolution prevents war, the future is bright because in either case... revolution will inevitably occur”. Again emphasizing that people are moving history forward toward revolution and that revolution is indeed the main trend in the world, in spite of the imperialists’ attempts to reverse this irresistable historical trend.

This analysis was confirmed by a Changing Times comrade’s recent discussion in China with a representative of the Foreign Ministry. The Chinese comrade backed up the analysis that ’revolution is the main trend in the world today’ by pointing to the increasing unity within the Third world and between the Second and Third worlds in their struggles against imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism, and in their struggles for national defense, sovereignty and for a new international economic order.

When emphasizing the danger of World War and the main danger being from the Soviet Union, the Chinese comrade pointed out that the Soviet Social-Imperialists are meeting with more and more resistance from the Middle East and all of the Third World. Due to the crimes of the Soviet Union, their true colors have been exposed, and their policies have been shown to be bankrupt. The comrade said that the continued expansion of either superpower will only meet with continued resistance.

Furthermore, we would point to Premier Hua Kuo-Feng’s speech in Peking Review #23 where he states: “The Third World people’s united struggles against imperialism and hegemonism has surged forward like a sweeping tide. The two superpowers have found the going tougher and tougher. Wind and thunder are stirring, flags and banners are flying wherever men live.” In fact, Peking Review in general continues to point to the increasing unity and revolutionary struggles of the world’s people in opposing all plans the two superpowers try to push.

The essence of Klonsky’s statement is that Revolution is not the main trend, and that war and revolution are two equal and contending trends in the world today. This is seeing what is transitory, world war, and equating it with what is the rising aspect, the enduring aspect of this period, revolution. This would say that the workers and oppressed peoples of the world are on the defensive and not in the position to take up the attack on imperialism and Soviet Social-Imperialism. The October League calls for retreat when the peoples of the world are advancing. The consequence of this pessimistic line is the call for the United Front Against Fascism.

In this pre-party period it is imperative to have clarity on political line. Please clarify the position of the October League on this aspect of the international situation. We would expect that this letter will be printed and answered in the pages of the Call.

In Struggle,
Changing Times Bookstore