Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

PRRWO: Anarcho-Socialism U.S.A. Expose PRRWO’S Hustlerism!


C. Trade Unions and Factory Nuclei

To understand PRRWO’s positions on trade unions under capitalism, the united front from above and below, the advanced worker, the role of propaganda in this period of party building, and the line on “unite to expose”, we must examine the development of their positions historically. As PRRWO admits, our differences are deep and have far-reaching implications for the line on party building. Historically, WVO has struggled most fiercely with PRRWO on each of these questions. These questions must be resolved because they are basic programmatic views that are going to shape the future character of our party. Without a correct position on them, PRRWO simply cannot have a correct position on party building.

PRRWO’s line on all these questions has undergone many changes and silent mutations as we shall outline below. On none of these important changes did PRRWO do self-criticism for their deviations and the consequences they have had on the movement, in spite of their boast about their proletarian stand on criticism/self-criticism and repudiation. Without honest proletarian self-criticism, and a thorough repudiation of the incorrect lines that they have clung onto for such a long time, whatever changes they make now are nothing but a cover-up.

The most unconcealed changes have been made on the role of the trade unions under capitalism. Their positions on other questions remain essentially the same despite the slight mutations. All this shows that whatever they say on the role of trade unions is only a more clever cover for their bankrupt lines on the questions, which form a system of views with an integral world outlook and methodology.


PRRWO historically had a Trotskyite position on the role of trade unions under capitalism.

The entire present ’superstructure’ of the British working class, in all its shades and groupings without exception, is an apparatus for putting a brake on the revolution. This presages for along time to come the pressure of the spontaneous and semi-spontaneous movement on the framework of the old organizations and the formation of new, revolutionary organizations as the result of this pressure. (Stalin quoting Trotsky in “Anglo-Russian Unity Committee”. On the Opposition p. 348)

PRRWO says the unions are part of the superstructure of capitalist society, “they deal within the confines of capitalism”:

This possibly explains why the comrades at the Viewpoint believe in the ’united front from above’ – that it is possible to unite with the superstructure. . .what we are dealing in is state monopoly capitalism. The relations of production determine the superstructure (Palante, Vol. 1, No. 6, p. 7)

This is a Trotskyite, mechanical materialist conception of superstructure and base: that a capitalist economy means that all superstructure is capitalist.

It follows from this that we ought not to work in the ’old’ organizations, if we do not want to ’retard’ the revolution. Either what is meant here is that we are already in the period of a direct revolutionary situation and ought at once to set up self-authorized organizations of the proletariat in place of the ’old’ ones, in place of the trade unions–which, of course, is incorrect and foolish. Or what is meant here is that ’for a long time to come’ we ought to work to replace the old trade unions by ’new, revolutionary organizations.’

This is a signal to organise, in place of the existing trade-unions, that same ’Revolutionary Workers’ Union’ which the ’ultra-left’ Communists in Germany advocated... a signal to replace the present trade unions by ’new’, supposedly ’revolutionary’ organizations, a signal consequently, to withdraw from the trade unions. (Stalin, On the Opposition, p.348) (emphasis in original)

This is at the heart of your trade union line which you have never really uprooted and repudiated though your lines have changed in words.

During the days of YLP and HRUM, where some of the present leadership of PRRWO worked and led a revolutionary community movement with the participation of some workers in hospitals, held an anti-union dual unionist line. They viewed workers in trade unions as opposed to the interests of community people and, for example, opposed a Local 1199 (now the National 1199) strike. They openly called for workers to leave the trade unions.

It was also narrow nationalist, accepting only oppressed nationality workers and excluding white workers. This line was never thoroughly repudiated due to narrow nationalist and anarchist tendencies of PRRWO. Their social and class basis, being oppressed national minorities, with some lumpen elements, were also added factors. As a result only some cruder aspects of antiunion positions were dropped and the dead weight of anti-unionism still haunts PRRWO today. (Health Revolutionary Unity Movement (HRUM) itself was later taken over by the lumpen elements and marsh forces and some elements were coopted by the state into “community relations boards”


In trying to polemicize against the RU’s dual unionist trade union line, PRRWO said a year and a half ago,

But the people don’t need you, the RU, to do that [bargain for the better labor sale of the working class] They have their own trade unions which will always keep them in the narrow confines of trade unionism. (“In the U.S. Pregnant With Revisionism”, Chap.4)

This is muddle-headed thinking that equates the trade unions with trade unionism which leads inevitably to liquidating the tasks of communists in trade unions.

In the March-April Palante of last year, PRRWO said that “unions can never be revolutionary organizations, nor should we attempt to make them such. They deal within the confines of capitalism and were never intended to be a substitute for the revolutionary organizations of the working class, the party of the proletariat, which the class needs to lead its fight to end the bourgeois rule.” On the relationship between the factory nuclei and the trade unions, PRRWO said that ”based on the concrete conditions the nuclei might give leadership to campaigns for union elections, although this is not generally the case in most unions.”

This a Trotskyite line, pure and simple, on the tasks of communists in trade unions. Although the Menshevik trade union neutrality line in Russia took, a right form, PRRWO’s Trotskyite trade union line objectively corresponds to this line since both serve the bourgeoisie by separating trade unions from the communist movement and liquidating our task of educating the masses especially the advanced. The Mensheviks held that “’the task of the Social-Democratic Party is to establish the socialist system and to abolish capitalist relations; the task of the trade unions is to improve working conditions within the framework of the capitalist system, so as to secure for labour advantageous conditions... for the sale of its labour power;’ the conclusion drawn was that the trade unions are non-partisan and they embrace ’all workers of a given occupation’” (Lenin, “Trade Union Neutrality”, 1908, in Lenin, On Trade Unions, p. 200).

Doesn’t this sound familiar? This is the infamous Menshevik “neutrality” theory on the trade unions and as Lenin pointed out, “in fact, serves to ’strengthen the influence of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat.”

Such a line was held by PRRWO until November of last year when after fierce struggles with WVO and other comrades, PRRWO flipped from their vulgar, “left” semi-anarchist line and was forced to acknowledge, at least in words, that “....we must work in the trade unions to make them fighting organizations like they used to be, we must fight for union democracy and for independent action of the rank and file, for the right to give out political literature and express your political demands. We must organize to rid the unions of the sold out hacks....we must bring the unions under communist leadership.” (Forum with WVO). Despite such a 180 degree turn on such a crucial political line, PRRWO made no self-criticism as to the basis and conditions for holding such a line for such a long time. The whole thing was just glossed over.

PRRWO’s earlier position that “unions can never be revolutionary organizations” reveals their profound ignorance of the development of trade unions in advanced capitalist countries and reflects the same disdain towards the working class as their position that the majority of the working class is backward.


Our position on this question will be dealt with extensively in our forthcoming polemics against the anarcho-syndicalism of the RCP. Trade unions in advanced capitalist countries are historical victories of the struggles of the working class against the brutal oppression of capitalism. Historically, the trade unions have been the “rudiments of class organization of the proletariat”, “elementary schools for the class education of the working class” in which they form and develop their class consciousness. The consolidation of imperialism in advanced capitalist countries has enabled the bourgeoisie in these countries to buy off completely a small minority of the upper crust of the working class, ideologically, politically, and economically Out of this labour aristocracy, the bourgeoisie has also created a stratum of trade union bureaucrats who are the agents of the bourgeoisie within the working class These agents of the bourgeoisie have succeeded in destroying the trade unions as the center of resistance of the working class and in fact have imparted to them a reactionary character. But the fact that these agents of the bourgeoisie are in control of the unions only means that communists should struggle even harder to kick out the mis-leaders and establish once again communist leadership in the trade unions. Stalin had the following to say on reactionary unions: “for all their reactionary character, the trade unions of the west are the most elementary organizations of the proletariat, the best understood by the most backward workers, and therefore, the most comprehensive organizations of the proletariat. We cannot find our way to the masses, we cannot win them over if we bypass these trade unions. To adopt Trotsky’s standpoint would mean the road to the vast masses would be barred to the communists. (“Anglo-Russian Unity Committee”. Stalin. On The Opposition, pp. 348-349)

In this period when the subjective forces are still weak, and we have no vanguard Party to lead the proletariat, taking over the unions is not immediately possible but we must start the work now. However, in no way can communists use the party building tasks to justify abandoning our duty of providing communist leadership to the struggles of the working class in the trade unions with the strategic outlook of taking over the trade unions eventually. You, PRRWO, pit one task against the other and fail to carry out both! Of course party building is the principal task and propaganda is the chief form of activity for communists, but the question is how do you see both tasks dialectically aiding one another. By doing lively, topical propaganda and agitation in the context of linking up with the spontaneous struggles, our theoretical tasks are sharpened and focused in the struggle against the incorrect, while the fusion of the working class and communist movements is furthered.


The party is the highest form of class organization of the proletariat, but it is not the only form.

The proletariat has also a number of other organizations, without which it cannot wage a successful struggle against capital: trade unions, cooperatives, factory organizations, parliamentary groups, non-Party women’s associations, the press, cultural and educational organizations, youth leagues, revolutionary fighting organizations, .. .Soviets of deputies as the form of state organization (if the proletariat is in power), etc. The overwhelming majority of these organizations are non-Party, and only some of them adhere directly to the Party, or constitute offshoots from it. All these organizations, under certain conditions, are absolutely necessary for the working class, for without them it would be impossible to consolidate the class positions of the proletariat in the diverse spheres of struggle; for without them it would be impossible to steel the proletariat as the force whose mission it is to replace the bourgeois order by the socialist order. (The Foundations of Leninism. Stalin. Peking edition, p. 109. Emphasis added)

Such are the ABC’s of the communist position on mass organizations, especially the trade unions. Such are the basic positions Lenin laid out in “Left-Wing” Communism. Our “left” dogmatists have finally submitted to the only correct line on the question in the face of hard facts and the historical teachings of Marxism-Leninism. But to mouth the words is one thing, to grasp the content is another. To say the general principles is one thing, to apply them is another. PRRWO’s change in position on this question is only a change in form. This is shown by their position on related questions and in their concrete practice which still reveals a basic disdain towards the struggles within trade unions and the communist task to provide leadership to these spontaneous struggles of the working class.

...preparation for the dictatorship of the proletariat entails not only explanation of the bourgeois character of all reformism, of all defence of democracy…it entails not only exposure of such trends...; it also calls for old leaders being replaced by Communists in proletarian organizations of absolutely every type – not only political, but also trade union, co-operative, educational, etc. (“Theses On Comintern Fundamental Tasks” Lenin. 1920. LCW, Vol. 31. p. 191)

We must attempt to take over not only the leadership of the advanced workers and the rank and file, but the trade union organization as well which will serve to facilitate our leadership and education of the broad masses. The anarcho-syndicalist R.C.P. says,

But the working class and its Party cannot base its strategy on “taking over” the unions by electing new leaddership, and it cannot restrict its struggle to the limits set by the trade unions at any given time. The policy of the proletariat and its Party is to build its strength in the unions as part of building its revolutionary movement, and not to reduce the class struggle to the struggle for control of the unions. (R.C.P. Program. P. 110)

Our main task in the trade unions is to win the base of workers away from the labor aristocracy and trade union mis-leaders over to our leadership. But if work in the trade union superstructure facilitates our work at the base, we are not afraid to go into what Lenin calls “prohibited premises”. We do not shirk from making sacrifices like PRRWO does by blankly refusing at this time to take up any trade union position above that of chairperson of a particular union local because of fear that we’ll be co-opted.


In advanced capitalist countries, it is even more important for communists to work in trade unions because of the historical development of the trade unions and the hold of the trade union bureaucrats, labor aristocracy and the bourgeoisie over the working class movement. In Russia, not only were communists in the leadership of the trade unions, but the trade unions in Russia arose, developed and became strong after the Party, around the Party, and in friendship with the Party.

Trade unions had not yet arisen in our country when the Party and its organizations were already leading not only the political but also the economic struggle of the working class, down to small and very small strikes. That, mainly, explains the exceptional prestige of our Party among the workers prior to the February Revolution, in contrast to the rudimentary trade unions which then existed here and there. Real trade unions appeared in our country only after February 1917. Before October we already had definitely formed trade-union organizations, which enjoyed tremendous prestige among the workers. (“The Results of The Work of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.)”, Part II. Stalin. On The Opposition, pp. 200-201)

Can we say today the trade unions are led by communists as was the case then? Clearly, the link between the communist movement in the U.S. today and the trade unions is very different. Historically, the development of trade unions and the communist movement developed along altogether different lines from that of Russia, as Stalin specifically pointed out.

The trade unions in Western Europe developed under entirely different circumstances. Firstly, they arose and became strong long before working-class parties appeared. Secondly, there it was not the trade unions that developed around the working-class parties; on the contrary, the working-class parties themselves emerged from the trade unions. Thirdly, since the economic sphere of the struggle, the one that is closest to the working class, had already been captured, so to speak, by the trade unions, the parties were obliged to engage mainly in the parliamentary political struggle, and that could not but affect the character of their activities and the importance attached to them by the working class. And precisely because the parties there arose after the trade unions, precisely because the trade unions came into being long before the parties, and in fact became the proletariat’s principal fortresses in its struggle against capital – precisely for that reason, the parties, as independent forces that did not have the backing of the trade unions, were pushed into the background.

From this it follows,. however, that if the Communist Parties want to become a real mass force, capable of pushing the revolution forward, they must link up with the trade unions arid get their backing.

Failure to take this specific feature of the situation in the West into account means leading the cause of the communist movement to certain doom. (“The Results of the Work of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.)”, Part II. Stalin. On The Opposition, pp. 201-202)

It is typical of these semi-anarchists to not appreciate existing mass organizations of the working class and the need to work where the masses, as well as where the agents of the bourgeoisie are.

[It] hinders the thing that is most important and most urgent, namely, to unite the workers in big, powerful and preperly functioning organizations, capable of functioning well under all circumstances, permeated with the spirit of the class struggle, clearly realizing their aims and trained in the true Marxist world outlook. (“Differences in the European Labor Movement”, Lenin. 1910. LCW, Vol. 16 p. 351)

It is far easier to merely “oppose” the trade union leadership on the sidelines and cry for the “independent action of the rank and file” in the name that the trade union bureaucrats are already exposed to all the workers except the very backward. It is far more difficult for communists to do the protracted day to day work and exposure to tear off their masks before the masses. It is our responsibility to elevate the working class’ hatred and anger against their individual union leader, Woodcock, Meany or Gotbaum, to do a scientific understanding of their class nature. To do this only in small groups, behind closed doors to your contacts only and not in the union halls, in front of the masses of workers when under constant attack by the goons, means you don’t really aim to win over the rank and file to communist leadership and take over the trade unions. Anarchists cannot understand or appreciate trade unions because they only see their reactionary character and the strong hold the trade union bureaucrats have over them today. They await “great days” which will never come unless we dare “to penetrate into prohibited premises”.

Imagine that a Communist has to enter premises in which agents of the bourgeoisie are carrying on their propaganda at a fairly large meeting of workers. Imagine also that the bourgeoisie demands from us a high price for admission to these premises. If the price has not been agreed to beforehand we must bargain, of course, in order not to impose too heavy a burden upon our Party funds. If we pay too much for admission to these premises we shall undoubtedly commit an error. But it is better to pay a high price – at all events until we have learned to bargain properly – than to reject an opportunity of speaking to workers who hitherto have been in the exclusive “possession”, so to speak, of the reformists, i.e., of the most loyal friends of the bourgeoisie. (“We Have Paid Too Much”, Lenin. LCW, Vol. 33, p. 330. 1922)


This factory nuclei “style of work” is only a mutation of your old line, factory nuclei is key link to party building, which you “repudiated” but are still objectively carrying out. It reflects that you haven’t seriously done self-criticism, dug out the roots and implications of your deviations on this question and transformed.

Unlike the Social Democratic parties and, within the anti-revisionist communist movement, organizations like RCP, we uphold that factory nuclei are the basic units, the basic form of our organizations and of the future communist party. The Social-Democrats and the RCP do not even recognize factory nuclei as the basic unit but call for mass parties and intermediate workers’ organizations (I.W.O.’s). As communists, we are primarily organized into factory nuclei, not fractions of mass organizations like trade unions, caucuses or street cells. However, street cells do play a significant role, especially today in large urban cities in advanced capitalist countries which are overwhelmingly composed of working class and oppressed national minority communities, as compared to Russia. But never should party units be principally organized along electoral districts, street cells.

The question we pose to comrades in PRRWO is not whether factory nuclei are basic units of organization, but how do we develop and expand our factory nuclei given the state of the communist and working class movement? How must we carry out our tasks in order to win over the advanced to communism and draw them into our factory nuclei? To entrench ourselves in the working class does not mean to bury ourselves in our individual workplaces. It doesn’t mean to propagandize only to the circle of “advanced workers” around you, and then, when they’re consolidated Marxist-Leninists, engage in the spontaneous class struggles. This approach is exactly your mechanical, stages approach of first build the factory nuclei and then graduate to the spontaneous struggle and organize and work in mass organizations like the trade unions, caucuses and coalitions or else it’s “bowing to spontaneity”.

As a clear example, at one hospital, you objectively pursued a reactionary right line and objectively aided the bourgeoisie. You obstructed, sabotaged and scabbed on a job action by 150 workers which you yourselves had participated in to organize, but pulled out at the last minute because there was “no base.” You didn’t want to engage in anything that was “bowing to spontaneity”. Instead of striving to give leadership to it, you went to work! This is the class stand of a backward worker which the workers themselves denounced you for!

This precisely was negating your tasks as communists to educate and do the necessary overall political exposure in the course of the struggle to win over the majority of the advanced workers, much less the majority of the working class.

To do otherwise is to ossify and mystify factory nuclei, to just chant that we need factory nuclei as the basic unit but wait for its “coming into being”, without building it and dealing with the question of how to build it. This is what we mean by your just begging the question. Inevitably, this will lead to isolating your “factory nuclei” from the advanced workers, the majority of the working class and from class struggle. In the name of carrying out what’s more primary, you, in practice, pit the factory nuclei against class struggle. You fail to grasp the dialectics of how, in the course of class struggle, you can more easily identify and consolidate the advanced workers and how this work will facilitate the consolidation and bolshevization of yourselves and your advanced workers.

The advanced workers are “real heroes ...coming to the fore from amongst the workers”; they come from and are part of the working class. “They are independent leaders of the working class movement.” The advanced come forward in the struggle. To say build the factory nuclei first and then engage in class struggle is like calling for fish to jump out of water and go back in later. By that time, they’ll have dried out! Our task as communists and advanced workers is not to pull out of the spontaneous struggle but to inject MLMTTT and help to give leadership to it, not merely denounce it as spontaneous.

And it’s the factory nuclei which is the party at the workplace, that should give ideological and political leadership to spontaneous struggles. As Lenin in WITBD said, it is “our duty to assist every capable worker to become a professional agitator, organizer, propagandist, literature distributor, etc., etc.” (WITBD, Peking ed., p. 162) We must do this in the course of struggle, not before we engage in it. Your outlook on building factory nuclei is the same old mechanical first step, second step approach which will only lead you to further isolate yourselves and degenerate into a sect.


The downright anti-working class character of PRRWO’s line comes out when they answer this question. Their answer is a straightforward “No”!

In late 1974, PRRWO tried to polemicize against the RU’s worship of the spontaneous struggle and the masses’ direct experience:

’The masses learn from their own experience.’ This, it seems to us, goes against the teachings of Lenin, who says that the workers of themselves can only develop trade union consciousness and not social democratic consciousness. (In “The U.S. Pregnant With Revisionism: The Struggle For Proletarian Revolution Moves Ahead.” PRRWO. Ch. 4, History of the Development of the PRRWO, pp. 11-12. 11/74)

Can you believe this? This is not even some subtle “left” deviation, but blatant, stone ultra-“ieftism”.

Yes, on their own, the masses cannot develop communist consciousness. On their own, they can only go as far as trade union consciousness. Socialist consciousness must be injected from “without”, by the communist vanguard.

But the masses definitely do learn from their own experience!! In fact, for successful revolution, the masses must become convinced of the need for it from their own experience. And this not only doesn’t go against Lenin, but is one of his most important teachings on revolution:

Victory cannot be won with the vanguard alone. To throw the vanguard alone into the decisive battle, before the whole class, before the broad masses have taken up a position either of direct support of the vanguard, or at least of benevolent neutrality towards it, and one in which they cannot possibly support the enemy, would be not merely folly but a crime. And in order that actually the broad masses of the working people and those oppressed by capital may take up such a position, propaganda and agitation alone are not enough. For this the masses must have their own political experience. Such is the fundamental law of all great revolutions, now confirmed with astonishing force and vividness not only in Russia but also in Germany. Not only the uncultured, often illiterate, masses of Russia, but the highly cultured, entirely literate masses of German] had to realize through their own painful experience the absolute impotence and spinelessness, the absolute helplessness and servility to the bourgeoisie, the vileness of the government of the knights of the Second International, the absolute inevitability of a dictatorship of the extreme reactionaries (Kornilov in Russia Kapp and Co. in Germany) as the only alternative to a dictatorship of the proletariat, in order to turn them resolutely toward Communism. (“Left-Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder. Lenin. 1920. Peking edition, p. 97)

This “fundamental law of all great revolutions” applies both in the first step of consolidating the vanguard of the working class, as well as in the second step, when we search for the forms of transition to the revolution. In the first step as well as the second, communists must lead the workers’ immediate struggles. This greatly helps our propaganda task, which is our chief form of activity, and also helps us identify advanced workers, win their confidence and consolidate them.

In struggle situations, the advanced, middle and backward clearly part. The advanced workers’ character, their unshakeable stand and ability as independent leaders of the working class, shine out like a beacon in these situations. And the communists’ staunchness, foresight and leadership in these struggles will attract the advanced and help consolidate them into our basic units, the factory nuclei, to make every factory our fortress.

M-Lists criticized the RU by saying: Yes, the masses do learn from their own experience in spontaneous struggles, but you worship that experience, you try to educate them solely through their experience in these struggles, and downgrade the role of communist propaganda and agitation in educating the masses.

But PRRWO criticized the RU by saying: The masses don’t learn from their own experience! This goes against the teachings of Lenin!

That’s a downright anarchist criticism of the right opportunism of the RCP.

Starting from their bankrupt, ultra-“left” line, it’s natural that PRRWO doesn’t see any reason to work in spontaneous struggles. And explicitly, as it was here, or implicitly, this has been PRRWO’s guiding line for almost the last two years.

Yes, we’ve always fought the OL’s and the RCP’s reformism and right opportunism. And we fought OL’s right opportunism on this very same question in WV, Vol.2 #1. To show comrades how PRRWO is the “OL-inside-out”, we are reprinting that section.


The OL always justifies their rightist policy of not taking ML positions by saying that people have to learn from their own experiences. It is true that one of the fundamental laws of Marxism, of the working class movement and of the mass movement in general is that people must learn from their own experiences, and that communists should not substitute their understanding for the masses’ understanding. However, this same cardinal rule of Marxism can also be misused to justify abandoning ML, as a shield to evade taking a principled stand in the immediate struggle for the long term interests of the socialist revolution. This, historically, has been a far greater danger than its ultra “leftist” application.

Is it simply a matter of overestimating or underestimating the ripeness of the revolutionary situation that leads Marxists to commit left or right errors? If that were the case, these errors could be corrected through social investigation and through repeated practice. Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

The revisionists, and especially those revisionists in advanced capitalist countries (where reformism has historically been used by the bourgeoisie as its main weapon to divert and disintegrate the mass movement) appeal to this Leninist rule. Not only have they used it to underestimate the people’s consciousness but in addition, it has been used to rationalize their own “maneuvers,” and their zigzags at the expense of the people’s understanding of the fundamental character of capitalism. This is nothing but an extension of their revisionist world outlook.

An outstanding example of OL/Guardian’s revisionist deviation is Carl Davidson’s constant appeal for the Federal troops to be sent to Boston. This master move is based on the theory that “people have to learn from their own experience.” The historical parallel to this is the German Social Democrats demand that “Hitler’s coming to power will be the quickest way to expose him.” Davidson stated that the federal government is not on the people’s side unless they send troops into Boston and that we have to “speculate ” on the difference between the Federal government and the local government. Not only that, he also wants to ”speculate” and ”provoke fights” between the local fascist forces, the racist anti-busing forces and the police!! (That’s precisely how Carl Davidson formulated it in the forum)

There are numerous examples in recent history, such as Jackson State and the experience of the Black communities during the rebellions of the 60’s, when Federal troops would start a riot themselves and massacre Blacks once they were sent into the ghettoes. Would the repetition of these massacres satisfy the OL/Guardian that the people have learned from their own experience that Federal troops will not protect them but will attack them? The Black people have learned from centuries of brutalization under the “impartial, democratic” state who t Federal Government really protects. It is the OL/Guardian and Davidson that have to learn that their intellectual ”speculation”, in proving their special ”theories” on the differences within the bourgeoisie on this particular question, may cost the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of workers, primarily Blacks and other minorities.

How do people really learn from their own experience and what is the role of communists in this learning process?

While the communist cannot do much under bourgeois rule to accelerate the development of the objective factors in history, the communist can and must accelerate the subjective factors in history, that is, the people’s consciousness, organization, etc. The communist’s role in this process is to raise the masses’ understanding of the objective laws of social development, of the tempo of the mass movement, and to anticipate the ruling class strategy. In order to achieve the correct fusion of the communist movement and the mass movement, in order for communists to gain respect and influence and lead the masses, we must play not only an exemplary role in the immediate struggle but also an exemplary role in educating the masses on the nature of class society and the ruling class. This must be done, even though the masses may not accept it right away. We have to go through those steps that they still see as necessary so that they will understand from their own experience the correctness of the communist line. But in going through this process, Communists must point out beforehand what will happen. A classical example of this is the lesson of ”BLOODY SUNDAY”. In 1905, in Czarist Russia, tens of thousands of workers from all parts of Moscow, under bankrupt misleadership, marched to the Winter Palace with the portrait of the Czar and the Cross, to appeal to the Tsar for amnesty, civil liberties, fair wages, and a gradual transfer of land to the peasants. Before the march, Bolsheviks advised the people not to go, for they said the troops were called out and the Cossacks would open fire on the unarmed workers. The people, without real ”experience” with the Government thought that the Czar would be benevolent and consider the appeal. The Bolsheviks marched with the people towards the Winter Palace anyway. The Czarist troops opened fire and killed over two thousand of them. The workers, and even some of the most backward elements learned through bitter experience the true nature of the Czar. The Bolsheviks, who warned the workers beforehand not to go, who marched side by side with the workers, even when the masses wouldn’t listen, who died side by side with the workers, gained tremendous respect and prestige. They were later able to play an influential role in the 1905 upsurge.

The deviation of the OL is that they don’t tell people beforehand the role of the troops, the role of the state and the state apparatus and neqate the experiences of the militant black liberation movement of the 60’s. In so doing, they foster illusions amongst the people. Not only did they abandon the role of communists in accelerating the already learnt experience of the masses, they in actuality played a rearguard role and dragged the movement backward. This is a case in point where Black people are far more “experienced” than the “communists”.

So what, their “people have to learn from their own expedience” comes down to is nothing except the OL/ Guardian’s leadership’s uncertainty as to the role of the state, their lasting faith in the “democratic” and “impartial” character of the state and the state apparatus, a typically revisionist mentality. It is they who have to confirm their belief that the state and the state apparatus does have a class character – that of the bourgeoisie.

Lenin concluded in “The Collapse of the Second International” the reason for the revisionists having revisionist illusions: the relatively good lives of the petty bourgeois intellectuals and labour aristocrats have “isolated them from the suffering, miseries and revolutionary sentiments of the ruined and impoverished masses.” And indeed, due to OL leadership and Guardian’s Davidson’s lack of “experience and lack of faith in the powerful working class movement, they maneuver and speculate at the expense of the bloody history of the working class, particularly the oppressed national minorities. The petty bourgeois intellectuals have to fuss about the people’s experience, in order to impose their petty bourgeois liberal mode of thinking, emotions and world outlook onto the working class – only to smother the working class struggle.