Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

League for Proletarian Revolution (M-L)

OL-CP’s “Marxist-Leninist Unity Committee” is Not the Road to Communist Unity

First Published: Resistence, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 1978
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The League for Proletarian Revolution M-L opposes the OL-CP’s call for the formation of a “Marxist-Leninist Unity Committee”. We are convinced that this is another sham call for unity that has no other purpose than to strengthen and consolidate the OL-CP, the strengthening and consolidation of right opportunism, of social chauvinism and class collaboration.

Unity is a beautiful word and the unity of U.S. Marxist-Leninists in order to build a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of the new type is the highest aspiration of all genuine U.S. Marxist-Leninists in this period. But the road to unity cannot be one of unprincipled alliances, of concilliation with all forms of opportunism as proposed by the OL-CP. The road to unity is based on Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-tung Thought, on the determination of building a party of revolution not of reform–a party which leads us in carrying out proletarian revolution and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and not to a policy of class collaboration with our own bourgeoisie as the OL-CP pretends to do.

Our point of departure in judging the OL-CP’s call cannot be the form that the ’unity trend committee’ will take, but rather the political and ideological line under which such a unity trend will be functioning. For obvious reasons the OL-CP emphasizes form. They guarantee that:

Each group or organization uniting in the UC would have an equal say, regardless of its size and stature. Each could present its views and proposals regarding the best path towards unity in one, single party.

Of course, such a proposal would allow for the continued independent life of the existing organizations. But it would also enable a higher level of joint work and cooperation while the unity efforts were going on. (The Call, Dec. 26, 1978, page 2),

and obviously:

This Unity Committee (UC) should serve as a unifying center for all Marxist-Leninists. The UC could be formed like the OC in 1976, around a platform of unity or a “unity statement”. Such a statement would include the essential points necessary to demarcate efforts from the revisionists and opportunists. At the same time, it would not be a fully comprehensive program in order to allow for broader initial unity and debate. (The Call, Ibid.)

All of a sudden, for the sake of unity, the OL-CP forgets their own program; all of a sudden the OL-CP tells us that although they are the communist party, it’s possible to unite with them based on things other than their program! This is having the cake and eating it too.

On the one hand the OL-CP claims to be the CPML and on the other calls for unity based not on the acceptance of their party program, but rather on the agreements reached by the “Unity Trend Committee”. How could this be possible? It is not, comrades. Either the OL-CP stands by its claims of being the party and promotes Marxist-Leninist unity based on its party program or accepts the fact that it is not the party and goes back to the same situation it was before its self-proclamation as the CP-ML. They opt for a middle of the road approach. They say simultaneously “we are the party and ”we are not the party”. Definitely they are not, nor can they become it.

He stated earlier that the point of departure in analyzing the OL-CP’s proposal is the political and ideological line of that organization. If a Trotskyite invites us to join then and in doing so promised us ’real equality with them’, we say “no thanks, we don’t want to be counterrevolutionaries such as you are.” We would respond similarly if the revisionists call for unity. In our view the answer to the OL-CP’s call should not be different.


The main aspect of the OL-CP’s line is its consolidation around social-chauvinism (socialism in words, chauvinism in deeds). Under the slogans of ‘direct the main blow to the USSR’ and ’don’t appease the Soviet Union’, the OL-CP is allying with the U.S. bourgeoisie. They criticized Carter for not building the B-l bomber and called for building it and all kinds of weapons, they called for the arming of NATO, etc. It is clear that calling for directing of the main blow at the USSR is a way of protecting the U.S. bourgeoisie. It’s also clear that under the pretext of opposition to the appeasement of the Soviet Union (appeasement which is correct for us to oppose) they go to the extreme of appeasing their own bourgeoisie, becoming their class collaborators.

For us, it is clear that the main task of any communist party is to lead the proletariat to the defeat of their own bourgeoisie, to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and to build socialism. These tasks have to be carried out in this historical period as part of a worldwide united front against the two superpowers. All the other questions in which we have differences with the OL-CP are subordinated to this major question. If we cannot unite in that although revolution is international in contents, it is national in form and that our main task is to carry out proletarian revolution in the U.S., any other talk of unity is merely idle talk. It is precisely on this that we draw definite lines of demarcation with the CP-ML. Our difference on other questions such as the national question, the woman question, etc;, which we have established openly many other times (See Resistance, Vol. 7, Nos. 3, 4, 7,; Vol. 8, No. 9 and others) are differences that are still being struggled out among genuine forces in the communist movement, on the basis of unity-struggle-unity. But social-chauvinism and class collaboration are a completely different story. No “unity trend” with it is permissible. To unite with this thoroughly right opportunist line is to conciliate with right opportunism, the main danger to our movement, of which the OL-CP is the main proponent. It’s not a question of having some sort of low level of unity on some questions, but of what kind of unity exists on the fundamental questions–and the attitude towards our own bourgeoisie is the most fundamental of all questions–that should determine our response to the OL-CP’s call.


Undoubtedly a factor which has some forces wavering on their attitude towards the OLCP is the recognition given the OLCP by the comrades of the Communist Party of China. Some genuine but confused Marxist-Leninists in this country reason that if the CPC sees the OLCP as good, then they should be OK. This is incorrect, comrades. Only flunkies can go around copying the latest resolutions of any given party without analyzing this in the concrete. We do not know nor will we attempt to speculate as to the reasons the CPC recognized the OLCP. But we have one thing clear: The CPC made the Chinese revolution and the U.S. Marxist-Leninists will make the U.S. revolution. It’s the U.S. multinational proletariat the only one that can judge the authenticity of the existence of a communist party in this country. As the comrades of the Australian Communist Party M-L correctly point out:

The only class which can determine whether or not a Communist Party is a genuine Communist Party is the proletariat of the given country. No self proclamation, no ’recognition’ by some other Party can do that. The position of leadership of a Communist Party must be earned and won in hard struggle. Likewise within the Communist Parties leadership cannot be conferred, proclaimed or imposed. It can only exist when it has been tried and tested in actual struggle. No proclamation of “correctness” can possibly help. No self-satisfaction can ever be allowed to develop. (The Australian Communist, July 1977, page 51.)

We uphold this view. If something has been emphasized over and over again by the Chinese comrades, by the great Mao Tse-tung himself, is precisely that revolution cannot be exported or imported.


It’s clear that a loose, elusive and undefinable call for unity can only receive responses of the same kind. The opportunists of the New Voice in their statement welcoming the proposal for a unity committee give us a good example of what the unity trend is all about. Talking about what the statement of unity of the unity committee should not include they said:

the statement should not take a position on three basic issues that ore the focus of struggle among Marxist-Leninists. These issues are 1) the analysis of classes in the U.S., 2) the revolutionary strategy for achieving socialism, and 3) the material foundation of the oppression of black Americans and the fighting slogan against this oppression...

...the Unity Committee should postpone deciding questions which are not fundamental harriers to party unity. Such questions include the woman question, trade union work, various national minorities, the fascist threat, etc. Communists should unite so that the party can learn more about these problems in practice and theory. (New Voice, Vol.7, #2 page 2.)

For the sake of being part of a Menshevik party, the New Voice liquidates every fundamental question facing the U.S. revolution. And after establishing that the defense of the People’s Republic of China can also be left out, they ask this candid question:

...if the Unity Committee could unite The New Voice, the CP M-L, the RCP, the Guardian and other groups (or significant fractions of them) on the basic strategy for proletarian revolution, would not this be a significant step forward? (ibid, page 4.)

Indeed, it will be a gigantic step forward to the center of the marsh.


It is significant that the “unity trend” is called precisely at a time in which major splits are occurring in the RCP. The split is countering on this organization’s position on the international situation. The majority of the RCP’s central committee is united behind Bob Avakian’s attacks on the CPC and the dictatorship of the proletariat in China. Although the attacks have not been made public, it is no secret that the RCP has been supporting the gang of four from the beginning (See Resistance, Vol. 7, No. 10.) attacking the Three Worlds Thesis and objectively covering for Soviet social-imperialism.

Many of RCP’s cadres have come in contradiction with Avakian’s attacks on the CPC. And it is in this juncture that the OLCP made its move. The OLCP presents itself as the alternative to the RCP, which it is not.

Although coming from different angles, the RCP and OLCP have deserted the world wide united front against the two superpowers–RCP by protecting Soviet social-imperialism, the OLCP by allying itself with U.S. imperialism.

Whether or not the dissidents within RCP will go from bad to worst is something that we will soon see. For the opportunists among them, it’s just a matter of changing “party” cards. For honest comrades, it is a question of making thorough self-criticism and repudiation of the incorrect lines they upheld and integrate themselves in the real struggle for party building and proletarian revolution in this country.

Comrades and friends: This initial statement expresses our resolute opposition to the sham call for unity made by the OL-CP. We see the necessity to deepen our understanding of the whys and hows of this call, to consistently and systematically expose the OL-CP’s bankrupt line and practice in all major questions. We call on other genuine forces to join us in these tasks.