Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Workers Viewpoint Organization

Build ALSC into a Mass Fighting Organization: WVO Position Paper submitted to ALSC National Conference 8/76

Fight for Proletarian Internationalism
Support Struggle Against the Superpowers and Apartheid in southern Africa


First Published: Workers Viewpoint newspaper, Vol. 1, No. 6, September-October 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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From 1972-75, the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC), as an outgrowth of the Pan Africanist movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s, organized demonstrations of tens of thousands in support of the national liberation struggles in southern Africa, against Portuguese colonialism, the racist regimes in Azania and Zimbabwe, and U.S. imperialism’s complicity in the oppression and exploitation of the African peoples. The U.S. multinational proletariat, and the Afro-American people in particular^ have a great and glorious history of supporting the struggles of the African peoples. In recent years we have seen the boycott of Zimbabwean chrome by dockworkers, the boycott of Azanian coal, demonstrations of Polaroid workers against Polaroid’s connection in making pass books for the Vorster regime in Azania. These were all examples of the kernel of proletarian internationalism that were manifested in these movements.

ALSC from 1972-75 not only played an important role in supporting the national liberation struggles in southern Africa, but also contributed greatly in advancing the two-line struggle in the Black liberation and communist movements. Although the Black Workers Congress (BWC) had the most advanced line in the BLM at that time, ALSC had the most mass influence and many advanced elements.

The rich history of ALSC as a vehicle that mobilized thousands in the support of the national liberation struggles in southern Africa, and pushed forward the two-line struggle in the communist and Black liberation movements, has serious implications for the present situation and our tasks.

“The attitude taken towards the revolutionary struggles of the peoples in the Asian, African and Latin American countries is an important criterion for differentiating those who want revolution from those who do not want revolution.” ALSC not only can support liberation struggles in Africa, but also can play an important role in preparing the American people against the danger of world war, especially against the superpower contention and collusion in southern Africa.

In the communist and workers movement, the right is the main danger. In the communist movement, the OL/RCP are the chief representatives of right opportunism. Recently, we have seen revisionists trotskyites, bourgeois nationalists, reformists, etc., all coming together around the situation in southern Africa, creating the illusion that detente means peace and not war preparations, and supporting the Soviet social-imperialists. Until recently, the main line, the main danger holding back the ALSC work was the left-liquidationist line of the RWL. Last summer the RWL proposed the liquidation of ALSC from the right, because it was too difficult to handle, party building was the central task, and all work should be focused on rooting ourselves in the working class. This pitted the task confronting the U.S. proletariat, the overthrow of our “own” bourgeoisie, against the support for the national liberation struggles, and was objectively chauvinist, deviating from the general line of the international communist movement. This line was defeated inside the RWL, and repudiated at the last ALSC national meeting in January of this year.

Then the RWL leadership developed a “left” line in opposition to the correct line of the WVO, and started their mad dash to the marsh from the left. Party building became the central and only task, their party building line was pushed as a principle of unity for ALSC. This led to purges of ALSC members from various chapters of ALSC that did not agree with their line, and eventually a period in which the RWL disappeared because of internal struggle and inability to defend its line in the communist movement. This line seriously disrupted the work of ALSC as it attempted to liquidate ALSC from the left, and was the main danger to ALSC, leading up to the recent ALSC national conference – Sept. 11-12.

About 40-50 people attended the last ALSC national meeting. MLOC, RWC, RCL, some independent ML collectives and the WVO were represented at this meeting. Given the wrecking of ALSC by the “left” opportunist RWL, the task was to rebuild the ALSC under communist leadership. Following is the position of the WVO, put forward at the recent national ALSC meeting, stating our views on this question.

* * *

In the current international situation, the dialectics between world war and revolution are rapidly developing. The trend of revolution storms forward; as our Chinese comrades say, “Countries want independence, nations want liberation and the people want revolution.” Yet the trend of world war is also on the rise with the contention between the two superpowers – the Soviet Social Imperialists and the U.S. imperialists. They are battling for world hegemony in a death struggle, with the Soviet Union as the main source of war today. The people of the world must get prepared. In any case, whether war will give rise to revolution or revolution will prevent world war, the situation is excellent for the vast majority of the world’s peoples.

The recent rebellions in Azania (South Africa) arid the victories of protracted people’s war in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) clearly point to the fact that the situation is excellent. On the one hand, the African workers and students rose up (and are rising up and will continue to rise up) and dealt a grave blow to the reactionary, racist Vorster regime of South Africa. On the other hand, the global strategic drive of the two superpowers is clearly shown as the U.S. imperialists attempt to change their tactics in Azania and as the Soviet Social Imperialists greedily eye all of southern Africa, in the midst of mass upsurges, alignments and re-alignments, in hopes of using this opportunity to establish their own “spheres of influence”. With its rich mineral resources, cheap labor supply and important location for trade and defense, Azania, where the situation is excellent, also sits directly in the two superpowers’ schemes for world domination.

Here in the U.S. we see the rising fascist danger. The monopoly capitalists have stepped up their all-round attacks on the job, in communities and in schools. With their bi-centennial circus and presidential elections, they’re trying to whip up. American patriotism against the oppressed nations of the world. The monopoly capitalists have been expanding their Boston busing plan to other cities. The experience in Boston shows and again confirms the imperialist’s use of the dual tactics, repression along with “liberal” subterfuges, to divide the working class, whip up racism and chauvinism to increase national oppression and usher in fascism.

In the context of world capitalist crisis and the rising danger of world war, all these attacks on us have a new light. In this context, they each represent a step towards fascism.

The U.S. workers’ movement has been coming up wave after wave. Through the spring and summer of 1975, workers in N.Y. and other cities came out against the budget cuts, unemployment and other attacks. Workers staged a series of massive demonstrations against the government and the banks, in Washington, D.C., and New York.

Miners wildcatted in the tens of thousands from last fall through this spring. They continued their fight for union democracy and the right to strike. They further exposed the United Mine Workers mis-leaders, not only the reactionary Tony Boyle clique, but also the “militant” Arnold Miller.

And this year is contract year for major industries around the country, auto, electrical, trucking, garment and rubber workers in their 100 day plus strike. We also see District 1199 hospital workers and the general strike in San Francisco boldly using their weapon of the strike.

Struggles of oppressed nationalities have marched on, too. Afro-American and other oppressed nationality communities have fought against police repression, like demonstrations protesting the shooting of Clifford Glover in New York. In New York Chinatown, 15,000 people militantly demonstrated against police repression. And the fight against deportations of foreign born workers goes on in Chicano, West Indian, and Puerto Rican communities.

Our working class struggle is still uneven, still just rising. It flows in one industry or region, then settles there. But it comes up again somewhere else. And with each wave it flows broader and deeper, more massive and militant!

The situation in Africa since 1972 has undergone tremendous changes. Portuguese colonialism, the last of the European colonial powers, has been defeated by African people. The peoples of Mozambique and Guinea Bissau have won independence. The heroic peoples of Angola who fought Portuguese colonialism for 500 years and defeated it have still not won independence due to the interference of Soviet Social Imperialism in splitting the militancy of the three liberation organizations.

The internal affairs of the people of Angola is still being subjected to ruthless interference by the Soviet Social Imperialists. The Angolan people have not won independence as yet.

Holding aloft the banner of opposing imperialism, old and new colonialism, big-power hegemonism, white racism and Zionism, the countries and people of Africa, having won independence, continued their heroic and tenacious struggle to safeguard national independence and state sovereignty. More and more African countries and people have come to realize that superpower rivalry is the root cause of intranquility in the African continent. The aggression and expansion of that superpower which claims to be the natural ally of the African continent and people, have become the primary threat to the independence and security of the African countries. (Peking Review, Vol. 29, 1976, p. 24)


Heads of state of more than 40 independent African countries met in Kampala, Uganda, for the 12th summit Conference of the OAU in July 1975 and tried to answer this question.

The African people are fighting many enemies: imperialism, colonialism, racism, and Zionism. But all these struggles must be linked with and viewed in the context of the struggle against superpower hegemonism. “But the more ferocious ones in today’s Africa are the superpower hegemonists who are a real threat to the continent.” (Peking Review, 1975, #35, p. 6)

The inter-imperialist conflicts lead to many hotspots around the world that flare up: the Middle East, Cyprus, Portugal, and recently in Angola, and also in southern Africa, where the situation is excellent.

The 2 superpowers are also attracted to Azania because it is a source of cheap labor. Investments in Azania guarantee one of the highest returns in the world. These are the factors that account for the large number of runaway shops to Azania.

Southern Africa is a strategic gateway to the Indian Ocean: 75% of the oil supply to Western Europe from the Persian Gulf must travel from the Indian Ocean around the Cape of Good Hope. Large volumes of trade between Europe and the Middle East, the Far East, Australia, and eastern Africa must also round the Cape from the Indian Ocean. 26,000 ships annually travel around the Cape; 50% of these stop in Azania to pick up supplies.

Militarily, Azania is a very important outpost. The U.S. imperialists have 2 tracking stations – one in Smithtown and the other on the Island of Mahe, plus naval air bases on the Island of Diego Garcia and Kagnev in Ethiopia. Its NATO allies have bases on the Comors Islands, the Island of Gan, Diego Suarez, Mauritius, and La Reunion. The racist Vorster regime has constructed one of the best equipped air and naval complexes in southern Africa. From its bases in Azania, the U.S. can monitor all air-marine communications from the South Pole to northern Africa, from South America to Bangladesh.

The Indian Ocean is the place where the superpower submarines play their games. It’s the only spot in the world from which Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe can be hit with nuclear weapons. The Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf offer the U.S. imperialists’ and Soviet Social Imperialists’ submarines a wide field of operations.

Since 1968 the Soviet social-imperialists have been stepping up their submarine activity in the Indian Ocean and sent in more naval fleets. They have established a base and facility in Berbera (Somali Republic).

Throughout the world, the U.S. imperialists are on the defensive. Chased out of one country after another, they are thoroughly exposed in the eyes of, the people of the world. The 3 Indo-Chinese peoples have scored stunning victories over the U.S. imperialists and forced them to retreat with their tail between their legs.

And the African people, too, through years of long experience, are clear on the danger of U.S. imperialism – the assassination of Lumumba and the Nkrumah coup; U.S. backing of Portugal in the struggle to maintain its colonies (it backed the Portuguese invasion of Guinea in 1972). The U.S. imperialists are long-time supporters of the feudal regime in Ethiopia which has suppressed the masses for decades, and now the new military regime which is carrying out a war of annihilation against the Eritrean people. For years the U.S. has collaborated with the racist apartheid regimes of Smith (Zimbabwe) and Vorster (Azania), and has never carried out the U.N. sanction on chrome against the Smith regime. Every U.S. corporation like IBM, Polaroid, General Motors, has branches in Azania, and U.S. investments in the area are well over $2 billion. U.S. multinational corporations participate directly in the exploitation of African people in the area. So the African people are vigilant on the U.S. aggressors.


Kissinger’s trip to Africa in April took place against the background of growing armed resistance of the people of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Azania, as well as increased Soviet infiltration in Africa and especially the large amount of armaments and Soviet and Cuban personnel in Angola, where the Soviet social-imperialists have set up both naval and air bases.

To contend with the Soviet Union, the U.S. imperialists are compelled to pre-i tend to support national liberation struggles and come out for majority rule. No longer able to justify their collaboration with apartheid regimes and in light of the strength of the national liberation movements in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Azania, they are being forced to change their image. For example, Kissinger said the U.S. was now willing to honor the U.N. boycott of Zimbabwean chrome. So in the Lusaka, Zambia, statement, Kissinger laid out the long-range policy of the U.S. imperialists: support of majority rule in Zimbabwe, self-determination of the Namibian people, and urged Azania to end institutionalized apartheid. He also promised aid to Mozambique for revenue lost in their sanction against the racist Smith regime.

Kissinger made a distinction between Azania and Zimbabwe, calling for majority rule only in Zimbabwe. This is clearly because the national liberation movement in Zimbabwe is the strongest and the U.S. imperialists must attempt to disintegrate it. The U.S. imperialists are putting the heat on Vorster of South Africa to cut off landlocked Zimbabwe’s last link to the outside (the other countries surrounding Zimbabwe like Mozambique and Zambia having already sanctioned Zimbabwe).

The U.S. is able to wield this control over Azania because S. African capital is tightly tied to it: the U.S. has over $2 billion of investments, and NATO bases. They know that if the Zimbabwean national liberation movement succeeds and a revolutionary government is set up, it will be hostile to U.S. interests. The U.S. imperialists would much rather see majority rule attained by “evolution”, by “negotiated settlement”, by making peace with the white racist regime. They are hoping they can pacify Zimbabweans with majority rule “from the top”. Then they could still get a foothold in southern Africa to counter the growing danger of Soviet social-imperialism. They are serving notice to the Soviet Union of their intention to stay and expand their influence in Africa. The African people must continue to ruthlessly expose these tricky counter-revolutionary dual tactics of the racist Vorster regime in collaboration with the U.S. imperialists – using political deception and negotiation with outright repression – and oppose them with revolutionary dual tactics.

The Soviet social-imperialists, in their quest for world hegemony, are increasing their activity in Africa as the liberation movements surge ahead. While the U.S. imperialists were bogged down in Vietnam, the Soviet social-imperialists were able to build up their military forces. For many years they have opposed the national liberation struggles, saying that they would lead to nuclear war. Now they are preaching “internationalism” and all-out “support” for oppressed peoples. This is just a cover for their imperialist designs to replace the old-line colonialists with the new-brand neo-colonialists and colonize Africa under a socialist banner. They pretend to support national liberation struggles but actually sell them out. For example, they viewed the Algerian war of independence as an “internal affair of France”, sold out the Palestinian peoples’ right of self-determination, and refused to recognize the Royal Government of National Union of Cambodia and colluded with the Lon Nol clique instead. And they call for disarmament precisely when the armed struggle is on the rise.

The Soviet social-imperialists are doubly dangerous, because they are “socialist” in words and imperialist in deeds, and many people are confused by this. They have tread on the names of the great Stalin and the great Lenin.

The Soviet party has degenerated since the death of Stalin. Capitalist bureaucrats took over the leadership of the party and changed the relations of production so that workers are once again exploited by a small class of capitalist bureaucrats at the top. Using the name and past prestige of the great Leninist party, these revisionists covered up the shameful restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union. Their imperialist foreign policy is nothing but a reflection, a concentrated expression of their domestic capitalistic economy. Its policy on “peace” and war, under the deceitful slogan of “irreversible detente”, is nothing except the logical extension of their imperialist economy at home. (Workers Viewpoint newspaper, Vol. I, No. 1)

The recent events in Angola show how the Soviet social-imperialists obstruct and sabotage the militant unities of the African people and split the OAU by calling one liberation group revolutionary and the other reactionary, in an attempt to fish in troubled waters. The new czars split the liberation movements in Angola in order to gain a foothold in the African continent.

Another tactic they use is to peddle “cooperation in production” under the cover of “international division of labor”. Their scheme is for African countries to produce goods with local labor and natural resources, relying on Soviet capital, equipment, and technology, so that it’s nothing but Soviet factories on African soil.

The African peoples are daily seeing through these schemes of the 2-faced Soviet social-imperialists and their brazen interference in the internal affairs of the African peoples. They are advancing wave upon wave in a mighty storm that, with the victories of all other oppressed peoples in the world, will sweep the 2 superpowers down the gutter once and for all!


In this era, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, i.e. against the international bourgeoisie or capitalism, no longer comes within the old category of bourgeois-democratic or capitalist world revolution, but part of the new world revolution, the proletarian socialist revolution. Such revolutionary colonies, semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter-revolutionary fronts of world capitalism, they have become allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism. (”On New Democracy”, Mao, Selected Works, Vol.3)
There can be no doubt that the ultimate perspective of the Chinese revolution is not capitalism but socialism and communism, since China’s bourgeois democratic revolution at the present stage is not of the old type but is a democratic revolution of a special type – a new democratic revolution – and since it is taking place in the international environment of the 1930’s and 40’s characterized by the rise of socialism and the decline of capitalism in a period of the 2nd world war and the era of revolution.(Ibid)
Except for the Chinese Communist Party, no political party (bourgeois or petty-bourgeois) is equal to the task of leading China’s two great revolutions, the bourgeois, and socialist revolutions, to complete fulfillment. (“Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party”, Vol. 3)

We take these series of quotes from the works of Chairman Mao in order to discuss some erroneous views held in the past on the character and content of the liberation struggles in Africa, i.e. neo-colonialism as the main danger in Africa (and not the two superpowers), which liberation groups should get funds, etc. and the Marxist-Leninist view on these questions. In the past many held the view that the African revolutionary struggles were socialist in character, the principal contradiction was between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, etc. This is a trotskyite position which negates the new democratic revolution, which in colonies and semi-colonies is a preparatory stage to the socialist revolution. This negates the struggle of the African peoples against imperialism, the two superpowers who are in fact the main obstacle to the independence of the African peoples. In the anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist struggle, the proletariat can unite with the petty bourgeoisie and certain sectors of the bourgeoisie that are opposed to imperialism. These can be allies of the proletariat, but the line that neo-colonialism is the main danger (and not the two superpowers) liquidates all allies of the proletariat in the national struggle^ for this view holds that all petty-bourgeois and bourgeois elements are reactionary and tied to the imperialists and does not see the dual character of the national bourgeoisie.

As Chairman Mao pointed out in “On New Democracy”, “no matter what classes, parties or individuals in an oppressed nation join the revolution, and no matter whether they themselves are conscious of the point or understand it, so long as they oppose imperialism, the revolution becomes part of the proletarian socialist world revolution and they become its allies.” The perspective of communists is not to stop at the first stage but to move on to socialism and communism, based primarily, on worker-peasant alliances and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The character and content of the African peoples revolution is still new democratic. The struggles of the 60’s and 70’s were struggles for national independence.

The Third World has become main force against imperialism, colonialism, etc. and our attitude toward them should be as Stalin pointed out:

The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, tor it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism; whereas the struggle waged by such ’desperate democrats’ and ’Socialists,’ ’revolutionaries’ and republicans as, for example, Kerensky and Tsereteli, Renaudel and Schneidemann, Chernov and Dan, Henderson and Clynes, during the imperialist war was a reactionary struggle, for its result was the embellishment, the strengthening, the victory of imperialism. For the same reasons, the struggle that the Egyptian merchants and bourgeois intellectuals are waging for the independence of Egypt is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the bourgeois origin and bourgeois title of the leaders of the Egyptian national movement, despite the fact that they are opposed to socialism; whereas the struggle that the British ’Labour’ Government is waging to preserve Egypt’s dependent position is for the same reasons a reactionary struggle, despite the proletarian title of the members of that government, despite the fact that they are ’for’ socialism. (Foundations of Leninism)

But as Marxist-Leninists we must be clear, that there are only two roads, and in the long term, the bourgeois and petty bourgeois parties will either become bourgeois rulers themselves or will compromise with one or the other imperialisms, as long as there is no New Democratic revolution led by Marxist-Leninists. Only a party of the proletariat guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought” can lead the democratic revolution, consolidate it and move on to the socialist revolution.

On the struggle around which groups should ALSC and Marxist-Leninists support in the liberation movements, we think that Marxist-Leninists should support any struggle that objectively weakens imperialism, but on particular groups, our responsibility is to support the Marxist-Leninists in the liberation movements, where it exists, and support all national liberation groups when no genuine Marxist-Leninist party exists.

Only a genuine ML party can lead the national struggle through new democracy and socialism. If no genuine ML party exists, we support the people’s struggle but no one group. And we are confident of the fact that sooner or later, genuine Marxist-Leninists will emerge and lead the people’s struggle for complete liberation and socialism. This has been the lesson of national liberation struggles since World War II. This has been the lesson of struggle in the Third World. This lesson must be propagated to the masses. What is this lesson?

A most important lesson from the experience of the international communist movement is that the development and victory of revolution depend on the existence of a revolutionary proletarian party.
There must be a revolutionary party.
There must be a revolutionary party built according to the revolutionary theory and revolutionary style of Marxism-Leninism.
There must be a revolutionary party able to integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the revolution in its own country.
There must be a revolutionary-party able to link the leadership closely with the broad masses of the people.
There must be a revolutionary party that perserveres in the truth, corrects its errors and shows how to conduct criticism and self-criticism.
Only such a revolutionary party can lead the proletariat and the broad masses of the people in defeating imperialism and its lackeys, winning a thorough victory in the national democratic revolution and winning the socialist revolution...
This is a question all Marxist-Leninists, all class conscious workers and all progressive people everywhere need to ponder deeply. (Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, p. 54)


The framework in which the U.S. proletariat and oppressed people should view all our tasks lies in our grasp of “What the Immediate and Universal Preparation for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat Should Consist In.”

The present stage in the development of the international communist movement is marked by the fact that in the vast majority of capitalist countries, the proletariat’s preparations to effect its dictatorship have not been completed, and, in many cases, have not even been systematically begun. From this it does not, however, follow that the proletarian revolution is impossible in the immediate future; it is perfectly possible, since the entire economic and political situation is most inflammable and abounds in causes of a sudden flare-up; the other condition for revolution, apart from the proletariat’s preparedness, viz., a general state of crisis in all the ruling and in all bourgeois parties, also exists. However, it does not follow that the Communist Parties’ current task consists not in accelerating the revolution, but in intensifying the preparation of the proletariat...
Hence, from the point of view of the international proletarian movement, it is the Communist parties’ principal task at the present moment to unite the scattered Communist forces, to form a single Communist Party in every country (or to reinforce, or renovate the already existing Party) in order to increase tenfold the work of preparing the proletariat for the conquest of political power.
Hence, preparation for the dictatorship of the proletariat calls, not only for an intensification of the struggle against reformist and ’Centrist’ tendencies, but also for a change in the character of that struggle. The struggle cannot be restricted to explaining the erroneousness of these tendencies; it must unswervingly and ruthlessly expose any leader of the working class movement who reveals such tendencies, for otherwise the proletariat cannot know who it will march with into the decisive struggle against the bourgeoisie... (Lenin, Collected Works, “Thesis on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International,” Vol. 31)

These above quotes from comrade Lenin illustrate that our tasks must be viewed within the context of the immediate and universal preparations for the dictatorship of the proletariat. Party building is our principal task, but not our only one in the preparatory period. The carrying out of our principal task will push all the other work forward, while other work and tasks must in this period serve our principal task. This is dialectics.

The WVO has stated in the past that we see four components to party building:

– the study of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought and its application to concrete conditions and topical issues,
– consolidation of advanced elements, particularly the advanced workers, around Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought.
– engaging in polemics within the communist movement for the correct programme,
– and linking up our organization with other communist organizations based on agreement around programme, strategy, tactics and organizational principles.

In this period, the period of winning over the vanguard, propaganda is our chief form of activity, though inseparable from agitation. ALSC can serve our tasks of party building, helping to carry out our responsibility to support national liberation work:

(1) ALSC as an organization of advanced and intermediate, can help to identify and win over advanced workers and elements.
(2) can support national liberation struggles and carry out ideological preparation against the danger of world war, in particular superpower contention in southern Africa, through propaganda.
(3) can help consolidate and train advanced workers already under the guidance of communists.
(4) can help develop through struggle political line, particularly on the international situation.
(5) can provide a form to struggle for unity and joint work with other communists, as well as to aid in demarcating the genuine from the sham.
(6) can help accumulate revolutionary-forces under the leadership of communists, while forging the party.

By raising the level of unity of ALSC to that of party building, the “left” opportunists objectively hold that the advanced are already communists and taking part in the polemic. This line would isolate ALSC by turning it into a pre-party formation and thus liquidating one of the channels through which communists can identify and win over advanced workers and elements to communism. Our view is that the advanced are not taking part in the polemic as: we find them, but must be trained to do so by communists. The principal form for the consolidation of advanced workers and other elements is the study-training circle.

There are two deviations on how ALSC, as a mass organization, can aid party building. The right deviation separates the two line struggle in the communist movement from the advanced. OL is a typical example, because they think polemics will alienate the advanced from the mass organization. At their fightback conference last year, they didn’t raise socialism once, their own cadre said they were not there to talk about “isms,” including trotskyism. This line actually caters to the middle and backward element, and does nothing to help train the advanced to take part in the polemics in the communist movement and raise their level. The “left” on the other hand raises party building in an abstract way isolated from concrete political line, as the only thing to be discussed in ALSC. The “left” otzovist clique RWL/PRRWO want to impose their Line on party building as the basis of unity for ALSC. As a result, the ”left” opportunists disrupt mass work. WVO thinks that party building and other struggles in the communist movement should be raised to the advanced, that Marxist-Leninists should engage in struggle in mass organizations and win the advanced to a definite trend, a definite line on party building, through persuasion, polemics, and the influence and authority gained in the course of active work to build African liberation support work, but that the party building lines should not become the principles of unity.

The “left” opportunists separate propaganda from agitation, while the right opportunists only carry out agitational work.


The revolutionary movement in the advanced countries would actually be a fraud if, in their struggle against capital, the workers of Europe and America were not closely and completely united with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of ’colonial’ slaves who are oppressed by capital.

1. ALSC should do consistent propaganda and agitation on the international situation, particularly as it relates to southern Africa, giving active support and leadership to the spontaneous movement supporting the struggle of the African peoples, drawing out the proletarian kernel and turning this’ genuine sentiment into conscious opposition to imperialist war preparations, interference in the affairs of other countries, and the menace of fascism.
2. ALSC should participate in and aid the struggle of the U.S. working class and oppressed nationalities and national minorities in defense of their democratic rights against monopoly capitalism.

Brief Sum-up of the 2-Line Struggle at National Conference

The main points of struggle at the recent national ALSC meeting concerned the international situation, the chief form of work for ALSC (propaganda or agitation), and the principles of unity. The voting and various positions put forward on these issues clearly reveal that in the current effort to rebuild ALSC under communist leadership, the right will be the main danger to accomplishing this task.

Everyone attending the conference was prepared to carry out the main struggle against the “left” liquidationist line of the RWL, that its party building line should be a principle of unity, and whether the prior purges of ALSC members had been correct. The ”left” opportunists (one of whom had been the chairperson of ALSC) had consistently attempted to delay the national meeting, which originally was to have taken place in August.

Philistines that they are, the RWL opportunists sent a few representatives, not to defend their line, but to make a formal appearance and split. These “left” opportunists raised various accusations, principally that they had not been informed, and therefore the meeting was bogus. They called on all “genuine” elements to leave, and got up and walked out. Of course, no one left but themselves. This clearly was a Philistine attempt to, on the one hand, save face by showing up, but on the other to avoid struggle on what clearly was an issue of “show-down” significance Rather than defend its raggedy line, the RWL denounced the meeting, walked out, and claimed that the “real” ALSC meeting called by them would be held in October. Everyone at the meeting saw through the theatrics of this maneuver, and on the resolution put forward by the WVO, at the end of the meeting, unanimously denounced the “left” opportunist clique and their philistine splittist actions and officially purged them from the ALSC for their wrecking activities.

With the expulsion and departure of the “left” opportunists, the right character of the lines of the RWC, RCL, MLOC became clear as the struggle on how to build ALSC was the agenda for the two-day meeting. The voting and discussion revealed that the WVO was firm in upholding Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, the RWC was consistently right, and the RCL swung back and forth between the two. The MLOC, although without the right to vote, “participated” in the discussion and struggle, and was exposed as thoroughly opportunist on every point.


Discussion and struggle around this question revealed that the opportunist line, which distorts Chairman Mao’s May 20, 1970 statement (that “revolution is the main trend” and “the danger of world war still exists”) dangerously borders on international centrism and belittles the danger of world war and the role of Soviet social-imperialism (SSI) as the main danger to the people of the world. This was demonstrated most clearly by RWC’s position that the “immediate” struggle to topple backward regimes is still a reflection of the dominant trend of revolution. This position would objectively lead to supporting the MPLA, and fails to grasp the intensified contention and collusion of the two superpowers in these struggles and the necessity for ML and progressive people to expose the SSI’s disguised betrayal. This is the classic opportunist policy of the “immediate” movement is everything, the final aim is nothing.

The RCL wavered in this struggle, while the MLOC jumped out with a thoroughly modern revisionist position that nothing in the world has changed since 1953. (Apparently the MLOC either does believe that the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union has not taken place, or that ”it’s no big thing”. In either case their line echoes that of the modern revisionists.) Neither the RWC nor MLOC would take a position on whether the principal contradiction in the world, at present, is still between imperialism/social-imperialism and national liberation movements, from which the position revolution is the main trend flows. In repeated struggle, the MLOC was asked to either state its position openly, or repudiate its line that the principal contradiction is still imperialism/social-imperialism and the national liberation movements.

What all these opportunist lines are unable to grasp is the distinction between the “general character of the epoch” of imperialism, in which proletarian revolution is the main and irreversible trend, and the present situation, within the epoch. Genuine Marxist-Leninists always have to make assessments on the basis of the strategic period and the present situation; always have to be cognizant of time, place, and conditions, versus the lazy-bone and inevitably opportunist approach of endless generalities. This was MLOC’s line, that this is still the general era of imperialism and the main trend is revolution. This leads them to the modern revisionist position that nothing is changed in the world. Angola is a reflection of revolution is the main trend, just as the tremendous national liberation movements mainly against U.S. imperialism since the second World War up until the early 1970’s were evidence of such. It is for this reason that all the opportunist lines that hold revolution is the main trend have to distort Chairman Mao’s May 20th, 1970 statement, and tear it out of time and context. They also have to distort Chou En-lai’s Report delivered at the First session of the Fourth National People’s Congress, January 1975, in which he said,

The present international situation is still characterized by great disorder under heaven, a disorder which is growing greater and greater... On the one hand, the trend of revolution by the people of the world is actively developing; countries want independence, nations want liberation, and the people want revolution – this has become an irresistable historical current. On the other hand, the contention for world hegemony between the two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, is becoming more and more intense ... Their fierce contention is bound to lead to world war someday. The people of all countries must get prepared...At present the factors for both revolution and war are increasing. Whether war gives rise to revolution or revolution prevents war, in either case the international situation will develop in a direction favorable to the people and the future of the world will be bright.

In order to get around the line of the CPC, which clearly lays out the situation – at present, the factors for both are on the rise, and in either case the situation will be favorable the opportunists have to resort to playing with words. The MLOC tries to draw a distinction between both factors on the rise, and two contending trends (one towards war, one towards revolution), which is nothing but the stand and viewpoint of the academic petty-bourgeoisie, not serious proletarian revolutionaries. The Revolutionary Communist League, muddled on this question as they are on many others, falls into this trap. Even though they hold that both contradictions are sharpening in this period, and the factors for both are on the rise, they cannot draw the correct conclusions from such, and continue to add that revolution is still the main trend at present. Apparently, the RCL cadre have not read the latest issue of their own paper, in which they quoted a CPC position which described revolution as one trend and war as another trend. The RWC also holds that two contending trends characterizes the international situation, but that revolution is the main trend because any other position over-estimates the strength of reaction and underestimates the strength of revolution.

All the above cases, whether from a lag of the subjective understanding of the objective situation or, as clearly in the case of MLOC, conscious modern-revisionist opportunism, objectively represent a danger to proletarian revoltion and are incapable of preparing the proletariat for the great battles ahead. The class basis for these lines lies in their petty-bourgeois philistinism.

All philistines of revolution usually picture it as a steady rise in a straight ascending line. They cannot see that revolution passes through a number of trials, ebbs, etc. but culminates in the victory of the exploited and oppressed. It is only by grasping this, that we can understand that either world war gives rise to revolution, or revolution prevents war; in either case the future is bright for the people!

But our philistines are horrified by the possibility and danger of world war, which flows from an objective assessment of the present international situation, when the inter-imperialist contradiction and the contradiction between imperialism/social imperialism and the national liberation movements represent two contending trends, i.e. both factors are on the rise. Our philistines cry “revolution is the main trend” to cover their own fears, doubts, and pessimism. Communists apply Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought to concrete conditions. In the event of world war, we must turn it into a civil war. Our stand is that we oppose world war, but we are not afraid of it. If it comes, we will turn a bad thing into a good thing. What our philistines cannot possibly understand is that world war can be the most opportune path to proletarian revolution if the superpowers dare to unleash it. As Lenin stated in his famous “Thesis on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International” on What Immediate and Universal Preparation for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat Should Consist in (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 31, p. 189) “...since the entire economic and political situation is most inflammable and abounds in causes of a sudden flare-up; the other condition tor revolution, apart from the proletariat’s preparedness, viz., a general state of crisis in all the ruling and in all bourgeois parties, also exists.” Hence, proletarian revolution is possible, at least the conditions for it are possible, in the immediate future What’s decisive is the subjective factor, our preparations and understanding of the situation of world war and how we can turn a bad thing into a good thing. For MLOC and RWC all they see is the darkness and horror of world war, and therefore they cannot possibly lead the proletariat to victory.

All of these philistines are petty-bourgeois fellow travellers who desperately cling to “revolution is the main trend” like a child clings to a teddy bear in order to assuage its fears of the unknown. Like a child who goes to bed every night and wishes and prays that ”revolution is the main trend,” when faced with overwhelming concrete conditions for the two contending trends, each on the rise, one trend giving rise to or preventing the other trend, these voluntarists cross their fingers, close their eyes, and wish with all their might that the danger of world war will go away. They wave the red flag to hide their own spineless fears and doubts of the bright future and favorable direction for the world’s people.

A definite position on this question – revolution is the main trend versus two contending trends, either world war will give rise to revolution, or revolution will prevent world war – was not adopted as an ALSC principle of unity (POU) although a vote was taken to register the sentiment of the group, after the struggle. It was 11-2 in favor of the eclectic position. There was unity, that in keeping with ALSC’s tradition of struggle, it would continue to provide arenas for struggle around this question.


The thoroughly rightist character of the RWC was revealed on this question also, as RWC put forward a view that ALSC’s chief form of activity should be agitation in order to reach the broad masses and rebuild ALSC into a mass organization. This rightist line liquidates the necessity for ALSC to re-build itself as a definite trend – distinguishable from the numerous sham, centrist, reformist, and other opportunist forces that have mobilized around similar issues, and the necessity to build a solid national organization with a clear orientation based on a consolidated core to expand from around the country. It reflects their view on the level and quality of ALSC work, the type of forces (middle and backward) that they want to aim at, under the cover of “broad masses.”

MLOC, in its classic opportunist treachery, at every point attempted to liquidate struggle for definiteness. They proposed that ALSC should not even discuss this question, that ALSC should do both propaganda and agitation. Of course, ALSC should do both (which was very profound!). The issue was which is principal, given the present state of ALSC where concretely it lacked a clear orientation based on definite lines on what’s going on in southern Africa in the international context of both rising trends, world war and revolution, where one trend gives rise to or prevents the other. Was agitation to serve propaganda, or propaganda to serve agitation? Which is to lead? Which is to lead, which is to be the chief form of activity, given the present state of ALSC, where there is no common analysis, nor even a national newsletter? Which can help to tie various chapters together politically?

Conforming to its opportunist line on no open polemics, conforming to its opportunist practice of stating endless generalities and producing Comintern reprints, but never taking a position on any concrete, present, burning questions, the MLOC at each point attempted to oppose definiteness and struggle, thereby allowing itself to wiggle back and forth, attempting to unite with anyone and everyone, “regardless of past line, practice, or size.”

The RWC attempted to draw a distinction between propaganda as the chief form of activity for Marxist-Leninists, and propaganda as the chief form of activity for a mass organization, led by Marxist-Leninists. Again this reflected their view of who is being aimed at, and how to build the mass organization of ALSC based on its present state, with hundreds of bogus revisionists, Trotskyites, arid centrist groups running around pretending to support the African liberation struggles, as well as their lack of understanding of the history of ALSC. The only thing these comrades have summed up as to why ALSC played such an influential role in the Black Liberation Movement and attracted the most advanced elements, is due to the numerous demonstrations carried out by ALSC. They liquidate the countless forums, pamphlets, and documents (concerning the two line struggle inside ALSC and the Black Liberation Movement), speeches, newsletters, etc. and similar activity, which was the chief form of activity that was served by the agitation around various issues and demonstrations, and why ALSC became a mass organization chiefly of the advanced and intermediate that could mobilize and draw into motion thousands of people.

The RCL voted with the WVO that propaganda should be the chief form of activity.

This was not a POU, but the sentiment was 7 for agitation as chief form and 6 for propaganda as chief form.


Four basic principles of unity were adopted unanimously by the ALSC national meeting. These were:

(1) Resolute support of the national liberation movements in southern Africa against imperialism, colonialism, hegemonism, zionism, racism, and against all reaction.
(2) Oppose the two superpowers, the detente line of the two superpowers. Expose the Soviet Social Imperialists as the main danger to the independence of the Third World peoples, and the peoples of the entire world, and as the main source of war in the world today.
(3) Militant solidarity of the struggles of the working class and oppressed nationalities and national minorities of the US with the oppressed nations; countries and peoples of the world.
(4) ALSC should be a multi-national organization focused in the working class and oppressed nationality and minority communities and workplaces.

The WVO put forward two additional POU’s:

Support the democratic rights of all oppressed nationalities and national minorities in the U.S. and
Uphold the right of self-determination of Afro-Americans in the Black Belt South.

The struggle around this question (the right of self-determination) was such that the Atlanta chapter was opposed to this issue due to differences on criteria and the necessity to study the question more; the Chicago chapter upheld the right of self-determination but didn’t see it as a POU at this time; RCL supported the position and said that it should be a principle of unity, but POU’s shouldn’t be taken ”dogmatically,” that ALSC was not a democratic-centralist organization, consequently people shouldn’t quit ALSC because of differences over the POU’s, but should stay within. (This view clearly reflects the RCL’s view and attitude toward principles – compromise them!)

The proposal to make “uphold the right of self-determination” a POU was defeated 7-3, RCL voting with the WVO on this issue.

Another resolution was put forward and adopted unanimously as a POU: “Support the democratic rights of all oppressed nationalities and national minorities in the US” as the entire ALSC united the fact that it was a prerequisite to struggle for this principle in order to build the unity of the multi-national proletariat.


The main struggle around program manifested itself in beating back MLOC’s opportunist proposal to focus only on Azania, and not on entire southern Africa. The WVO led the struggle against MLOC’s position which belittled the consciousness of the advanced and the masses and their ability to grasp the interconnection of the events in the entire southern Africa, as well as the necessity for ALSC to explain and clarify the machinations and maneuvering of the two superpowers in all of southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Azania, Namibia, etc.) MLOC again (as the lower strata of the proletariat often do not) does not understand our movement and its most advanced experience. ALSC historically conducted its work around the exposure of Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, etc., and their interrelations, to fully explain and politicize the advanced and broad masses as to the interrelation and nature of the contradictions. The advanced and masses themselves took up staunch support for the liberation movements in entire southern Africa.

The national ALSC meeting also adopted the line of carrying out mass demonstrations around southern Africa, guided by the POU’s in the near future; secondarily to take up the Gary Tyler case independently of the OL and the Gary Tyler defense committee at this time; to step up the exposure of centrist, reformist, bourgeois nationalist, etc. positions on this question; elect a new steering committee; sponsor a tour for ZANU, but in the meantime develop a more definite position on our attitude toward the liberation groups; conduct liaison with the U.S. representatives of other revolutionary struggles in the world.

The national meeting united on the view of rebuilding the ALSC apparatus and encouraging other progressive forces that could unite with the ALSC’s POU’s to join and work with the ALSC, to help serve our task of preparing the U.S. people against the danger of world war and accumulate revolutionary forces.

With the defeat of the “left” opportunists, the work of rebuilding ALSC can go forward, but only in a staunch and resolute struggle against the rightist influence of the RWC and the RCL (the main danger in our movement being right opportunism), which has achieved temporary dominance in the ALSC rebuilding efforts. In this effort, we must maintain out independence and initiative in carrying out support work around this most important area of struggle. The correct line of the WVO on ALSC work will win out eventually, and ALSC will once again be rebuilt into a mass fighting organization!