Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

S.D.O.C. Introductory Statement


First Published: October 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

EROL Note: This introduction was presented at a forum organized by the Workers Congress in San Diego on October 4, 1975.

* * *

The San Diego Organizing Committee (Marxist-Leninist) welcomes you to this Forum on “The Iskra Principle and Party Building,” presented by the Workers Congress. Before I turn the Forum over to the Workers Congress, I would like to tell you something about the San Diego Organizing Committee. It was formed this summer by a few of the people who worked together on the General Response to the pamphlet Red Flag, along with some other independent Marxist-Leninists. The group shared a level of unity around several principles and saw the need for organization among Marxist-Leninists. Only organization could overcome individual weaknesses and consolidate the fragmented work being done in San Diego. More importantly, only organization could provide over-all theoretical leadership and analysis to that work, to deepen the understanding of Marxism-Leninism.

Last week the Committee was told of a rumor that it excludes gay people. That rumor is totally false. Membership in the Committee is not based on sexuality. Furthermore, the Committee would criticize any organization which has such an exclusionary policy.

During the summer the political work of the Committee has been threefold:
1) to forge ideological unity around some basic political principles,
2) to develop a democratic-centralist organization for carrying out political work,
3) to support the militant rank and file union struggle in the Solar strike through propaganda leaflets (Solar Strike Specials #’s 1 through 4.)

On the back page of Solar Strike Special #3 this committee announced its existence and some principles of unity. The Committee criticizes itself for that announcement – it was a left or subjective error. The subjectivity lay in the fact that the announcement was out of place in relation to the objective conditions of the strike. At the time of Strike Special #3, the organization was very young and at moments got caught up in the spontaneity of the strike. Criticism of the announcement has occurred in the Committee and the organization has been strengthened. The Committee stands behind the following four principles of unity tonight. As the Committee grows, these principles will be further developed and new principles will be added.


1) The central task of Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. today is to build a multi-national Communist Party firmly rooted in the working class. Since the time the CPUSA adopted its revisionist line (the so-called “Peaceful” road to socialism), the working class has been without a genuine revolutionary organization, capable of leading all levels of struggle: political, ideological, theoretical, military, and economic. The new Communist Party will lead the working class and its allies in socialist revolution, the overthrow of the capitalist system and establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie – to replace the present dictatorship of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat.
2) To build the new party, our primary task is to unite communist ideology with the advanced elements of the working class. In addition we must win over and unite with other politically advanced people. Who we mean by “the advanced” are those who gain people’s respect and confidence through their leadership in militant struggles. They have ideas about socialism and are open to Marxism-Leninism-Mao-Tse-Tung thought. They want to study in order to understand the world and change it.
3) Based on the philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism, scientific socialism is our tool for understanding the world and transforming it. Because of the low level of theoretical development in the U.S. among both Marxist-Leninists and the people in general, the study of scientific socialism is essential at this time.
4) In the struggle to build the party, Marxist-Leninists must unite our existing forces through ideological struggle. The main danger is right opportunism, revisionism and reformism. The CPUSA is the most consolidated form of right opportunist tendencies – economism, and belittling the need for an actual revolution, for a leading party, for revolutionary theory as the guide to action. The political struggle against right opportunism in no way precludes struggle against left opportunism: sectarianism, terrorism, dogmatism. Both right and left opportunism must be exposed and repudiated in ideological struggle.

Up to now the political work of the Committee has not included uniting with other Marxist-Leninists. When the Committee began, this was one of several tasks put forward, and in fact is part of the principles of unity. However, the objective reality of the strike, and the political and organizational weakness of the Committee, demanded that tactical choices be made. As stated in the principles of unity, the Committee sees the uniting of communist ideology with the advanced as primary. Therefore it focused on political work in the strike, while simultaneously tightening up politically and organizationally. This Forum and this introduction begin the task of uniting with other Marxist-Leninists.

The Committee’s present level of political development is better understood by investigating a concrete example of its political line in practice: the Solar Strike. The primary aspect of the Committee’s work in the strike was propaganda aimed at providing communist analysis for the advanced workers involved in that struggle. A secondary aspect was the attempt to provide tactical leadership through direct contact with workers at Solar.

The Strike Specials correspond to different stages of the strike. #1 was distributed during the first three weeks of the strike. It analyzed the major issues in the strike, focusing on the need to protect the right to strike. It exposed the enemy that the workers face by showing the direct link between Solar and the highest level of U.S. finance capital. It pointed out the lack of any clear-cut union strategy for winning the strike. Finally, it spelled out the need for regular mass meetings and union literature to mobilize the full strength of the workers; for a campaign to organize the unorganized at Solar (almost of half of non-management is non-union); for unity and support from other workers in San Diego. In other words, Solar Strike Special #1 called for a militant trade union struggle by the leadership.

Strike Special #2 was distributed shortly after the first sweeping injunction was slapped on the strikers. It analyzed the injunction, stating that, if the union did not fight the injunction in court and on the picket line, it would undercut the mass struggle of the workers to stop production. Solar Strike Special #2 also analyzed the historical development of the state, and the role of the state in class struggle.

Strike Special #3 was distributed shortly after the contradiction between the rank-and-file and the union leadership solidified. By this time Solar had hired hundreds of strikebreakers, and made little effort to negotiate seriously. The union leadership maintained that the union was winning and workers should continue to stay home and sit tight. In opposition to Solar, the court, and their own union leadership, some of the more militant members of the rank-and-file had organized mass picketing in an attempt to halt production. Strike Special #3 began an analysis of the class-collaboration of the union leadership. It set forth a concrete minimum program of militant trade unionism that had to be taken up if the strike was to be won by the union. #3 also built on the analysis of the class struggle begun in #’s 1 & 2 and advocated building a new communist party in the United States to lead the class struggle against monopoly capitalism.

Strike Special #4 was a review of the political analysis and strike strategy put forward during the strike, and a comparison with the politics and inaction of the union leadership.

Strike Special #4 was a review of the political analysis and strike strategy put forward during the strike, and a comparison with the politics and inaction of the union leadership.

The Strike Specials are not free of theoretical shortcomings and errors. #1 failed to present the international aspects of monopoly capitalism or imperialism in general, and International Harvester in particular. The historical analysis of the state attempted in #2 was too ambitious for the purposes of that leaflet. And #3, or rather the early distribution of _#3, contained the announcement criticized a few minutes ago. There are other criticisms, too. An overall analysis of the Committee’s political work in the Solar strike, and the competing political lines, will be published as soon as possible after the strike ends.

There’s a yellow pad by the door where you can leave your address for a mailing list. The Organizing Committee will send you a copy of this introductory statement, including the principles of unity. And in the future you will receive announcements of upcoming events, and publications. If you feel hesitant to sign the list, for security reasons, we will try to work out another way for you to obtain this information – maybe through the Changing Times [a San Diego bookstore – EROL].

Now to the Workers Congress – in considering the role of propaganda in party-building, the Committee sees the question of a newspaper as very important. Also, the Committee seeks to establish contacts with national Marxist-Leninist organizations in the same political tendency. The Workers Congress is such an organization, and the Committee looks forward to their presentation....