Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

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



PRRWO’s political lines, mentioned above, reveal a pattern of mechanical materialism – a pattern of using empiricism to justify their dogmatism. But dogmatism is a very broad term.

PRRWO is a definite product of a definite spontaneous movement of the 1960’s – the spontaneous movement of oppressed nationalities. Their ideological deviation is concrete. Their demagogy – appealing to narrow nationalism, style and appearance, catchwords and slogans, hard-sell get-it-over type demagogy, worshipping of spontaneity in the development of line and lack of strategic thinking on the communist and working class movements – all these are a particular type of bourgeois ideology, a declassed petty bourgeois and lumpen ideology, which can be called hustler mentality, the hustlerism of PRRWO.

Following Lenin’s teachings, we must examine both the political and ideological physiognomy of various organizations in the communist movement. Communists must penetrate these “forbidden” areas – PRRWO’s ideological physiognomy, their ideological system, together with their political line – and understand the dialectical unity between them. We must penetrate these areas of methodology which the revisionists and opportunists of all shades have all protected as their “private affairs” – the question of world outlook.

In relation to this most fundamental question, Comrade Hill of the Australian Communist Party (M-L) has said that the question of “what sort of anti-revisionist party” to build is not yet resolved in advanced capitalist countries because of the deep penetration of bourgeois ideology and particularities of political systems of advanced capitalist countries. Undertaking the task of building that party on the ideological plane is based on the present-day Marxist-Leninist understanding on the sum-up of the lessons of the international communist movement.

This is also the essential meaning of our slogan “Build the party on the ideological plane, grasp the key link of political line.” The first half of the slogan refers to the character of the party, what sort of party we want to build. It is no accident that so many party building efforts before us have degenerated – not only the ”C”PUSA, but also the POC and PLP. Now the OL and RCP are heading towards that same marsh. How do we steel the party in the course of class struggle? How do we prevent it from degenerating? These are fundamental questions to which we address ourselves in the following section.

The second part of the slogan refers to the key link, the link which, once grasped, will enable us to get hold of the whole chain, which will thrust the communist and working class movements forward. Political line is that sphere of ideology (there are other spheres, like methodology), which is most closely linked to the state and to the economic base and struggle over political line is a reflection of class struggle in the communist movement.


As Wang Hung-wen, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said: “To study Marxism and criticize revisionism is our long-term task for strengthening the building of our party ideologically.” (Documents of the Tenth National Congress, CPC, p. 47). In summing up the CPC’s historical experience in party building, he also discussed the three great traditions of the CPC. They are “The style of integrating theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the masses and practicing criticism and self-criticism...” (Ibid. p. 53)

These lessons for building the party ideologically are reflected in the five criteria for membership in the CPC, which were developed by Chairman Mao himself. Members of the CPC must

1. Conscientiously study MLMTTT and criticize revisionism;
2. Work for the interests of the vast majority of people of China and the world;
3. Be able at uniting with the great majority, including those who have wrongly opposed them but are sincerely correcting their mistakes; however, special vigilance must be maintained against careerists, conspirators and double-dealers so as to prevent such bad elements from usurping the leadership of the Party and the state at any level and guarantee that the leadership of the Party and the state always remains in the hands of Marxist revolutionaries;
4. Consult with the masses when matters arise;
5. Be bold in making criticism and self-criticism. (Constitution of the CPC, Chapter II, Art. 3)

These, in our opinion, are universal criteria which we communists in the U.S. must also adopt in building the party ideologically.

The first criterion – study Marxism and criticize revisionism – is a question of communist orientation. The second criterion is a question of the stand of the proletariat. The third, fourth, and fifth are parts of the methodology – which is identical with world outlook – of communists. All five are inter-related.


Communists believe that the masses are the creators of history; the masses – particularly the proletariat – are also the source of the wisdom, inspiration and strength of the party of the proletariat. Chairman Mao teaches us to humbly learn from the masses and to use the mass line; link the particular (concrete conditions) with the general (theory, policy and plan), and go from the masses, to the masses in linking up the particular with the general to enrich the correctness of the line in the course of class struggle.


In the September 1974 issue of the Workers Viewpoint Journal (Vol. I, No. 2, p. 31, we polemicized against the RU and OL’s vulgarization of the mass line and the OL’s “getting your head together” line, which both belittle theory and even contend that the party program will be “fleshed out of” the experience of the primitive communist movement over the last few years.

RCP has historically belittled the first thing Chairman Mao laid out about the mass line, namely, the necessity to link the “general” – the theory and larger historical experience, with the concrete conditions here and our particular experience. We must link the particular demands of the masses with the larger laws of MLMTTT. If we belittle the general – theory – we will inevitably fall into tailism and revisionism.

In our polemic, we made a deviation. We said that mass line is the “policy” guiding our implementation of line. That was incorrect, in that we didn’t consider that the formulation of our line, policy, and plan of action in the first place must itself be a product of mass line; that mass line is not simply a question of implementation.

Certainly, the interpretation of mass line by the right opportunists, those who formulate that the principal task for this period is “building the consciousness, unity and struggle of the working class,” is empiricist. They negate the historical experience of the proletariat by raising our immediate experience, the relative truth, to a higher level, to the degree of substituting it for the larger laws of class struggle derived from hundreds of years of experience of the proletariat. In committing this error, they substitute relativism for dialectical materialism. The correctness and comprehensiveness of MLMTTT, of its stand, viewpoint and method, compared to the incorrectness and one-sidedness of narrow experience, is absolute. This is because the question of right and wrong is absolute.[1]

We understand that the mass line is also the Marxist theory of knowledge in the larger and correct sense, in that it links up the general and the particular and further develops Marxism. This first criterion for members of the CPC – study Marxism and criticize revisionism – is the necessary precondition, a question of orientation for all communists, no matter out of what class one may have come. And the mass line is an indispensable link between theory and practice. It enables us to use the collective wisdom of the masses, their foresight, their understanding of complex facets of concrete situations, as well as their strength.

Our self-proclaimed “vanguard” such as the “left” opportunist PRRWO, can never understand this question of mass line. They deviate from the mass line not only in practice but also in principle! PRRWO’s “analysis” that “the vast majority of workers are backward” is one example of such a principle which is diametrically opposed to Chairman Mao’s teaching to be humble and learn from the masses.


Linking theory and practice is another characteristic of a genuine communist organization. All forms of opportunism are characterized by a separation between the objective and the subjective and the gap between theory and practice. They substitute sophistry, eclecticism, rumors, bourgeois trends of thought, and slogans for dialectics. Both dogmatists and empiricists divorce theory from practice. They either come out as “left” opportunists by overestimating the subjective situation and underestimating the objective, or as right opportunists – just the reverse.

To criticize nationally specific bourgeois ideology and revisionism is to link our ideological task of combating and preventing revisionism with an aspect of our theoretical task. To link up our theoretical task with political line, we must use the stand, viewpoint and method of MLMTTT, do a meticulous study of the concrete historical and political situation, and the political consciousness of the advanced as well as the masses, in order to put forth and carry out correct plans of action and tasks in our direct struggle against capital.


Whether one practices it or not – or whether one practices it boldly or not – this constitutes the line of demarcation between sham and genuine, staunch and vacillating communists today. The dialectics of knowledge dictates that being correct is only relative and that making mistakes in the course of class struggle is absolute. This is due to our bourgeois ideology, our subjective limitations, especially in relation to the complexity of the class struggle situation today.

A political party’s attitude towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it fulfills in practice its obligation towards its class and the working people. Frankly acknowledging a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analysing the conditions that have led up to it and thrashing out the means of its rectification – that is the hallmark of a serious party. (“Left Wing” Communism’ – An Infantile Disorder. Part VII. Lenin. Emphasis original)

One of the best ways to train our class is to train the masses to seek out and identify mistakes (which we will always make), understand the basis for them and how to minimize them by changing them. This teaching on how we view our mistakes is something that we are continually learning. It is something that we are appreciating more and more every day. It is a hallmark of Bolshevized communists, a weapon for our victory that reflects the fundamental stand of the proletariat.

Bourgeois ideology is most deeply buried in “accepted ways of thinking,” in our traditions, forces of habit, and sentiments. Since bourgeois ideology takes nationally specific forms, the corresponding ideological pitfalls in the communist movement are also nationally specific. Historically, the opportunists always appeal to these forms of bourgeois ideology to hoodwink comrades and advanced workers; it is precisely in these spheres that bourgeois ideology has seeped into our thinking. We have been brought up with these forms of bourgeois ideology, “understand” them, and not questioned them, but carried them out, as a matter of course. To understand this “hidden reef” in our thinking, we must, as Lenin said, “investigate, seek out, and predict” that which is nationally specific and grasp the concrete manner in which opportunism finds its strength.

We will lay out, in this section, our understanding of the general relation between being and consciousness, the class character of ideology; class basis and conditions for revisionism; why bourgeois ideology can penetrate our thinking so deeply; what is meant by the relative independence of ideology and how the bourgeoisie attempts to make ideology “independent” of the base, particularly those spheres of ideology which seem relatively more remote from class interests and property relations.


To build the party on the ideological plane, to Bolshevize our ranks to build the cadre core for the party must be done in the heat of class struggle.

The relationship between Communists and the masses must be like that of fish in the ocean.

We must study Marxism and criticize revisionism.

We must link theory with practice and, in the course of linking them up in the thick of struggle against capitalism, win the advanced to communism, practice the mass line of “from the masses, to the masses” and utilize the wisdom of the masses.

These are all component parts of building the party ideologically. In this section, we will deal mainly with the aspect of “Study Marxism and criticize revisionism,” the aspect of the class and ideological basis of opportunism and revisionism, for these are areas where we have a line diametrically opposed to PRRWO’s.

We will give some concrete examples of what we mean by a nationally specific ideological superstructure, along with its class representatives, and how they derailed the working class struggle and the CPUSA historically. We will also show briefly how these ideological deviations are manifested in the present-day movement, their class basis and their concrete political forms, and how they are linked to these poisonous aspects of ideology.

We will show why “left” opportunists (in this case, the right opportunists like the OL and RCP do the same thing) by pointing their finger at the “C”PUSA as being revisionist, really understand only the “cruder political aspects of revisionism.” In not being able to understand concrete forms of bourgeois ideology, the class character of ideology, its conscious and unconscious aspects; and in not differentiating between the question of consolidated revisionists who openly and literally revise Marxism and who oppose the CPC and PLA, and the question of the process of the development of revisionism, the opportunists take the heat off themselves and will only proceed to build another sham party which is riddled with bourgeois ideology through and through.

To combat and prevent revisionism we must study Marxism and criticize revisionism concretely and its nationally specific sources, in the thick of class struggle. To transform and prevent degeneration, to change our subjective world, we must do this in the context of changing the objective world. We will show how forces like PRRWO, RWL, and IWK, in not criticizing bourgeois ideology, must inevitably be affected by it.

We will show how this lack of understanding on ideological questions is carried over in PRRWO’s “political line,” their meaningless “key link” and their formulation of periods in party building.

On the question of bowing to spontaneity, we will expose the phrase-mongering of PRRWO and how they have only digested the words of Lenin but missed the content. This leads them to interpret bowing to spontaneity as going into the mass movement, counterposing the theory of worshipping spontaneity, the logical basis of all opportunism, to the tasks of seeking out, grasping, combating and preventing concrete ideological forms through which bourgeois ideology is most easily smuggled into the communist movement by the opportunists. We will lay out what constitutes the periods in the communist movement and show how PRRWO’s formalistic and metaphysical line liquidates concrete struggles and consequently liquidates the concrete development of correct line, as a synthesis of struggle in the communist movement.

We will show the linkage among all these facts to show how PRRWO’s Menshevik line on organization – their lack of principle on the line of demarcation – flows straight from their economic determinism and their self-proclaimed “born red” “proletarian” manifested in their sectarianism and hustler methodology in party building.


[1] Human knowledge is relative in the sense that we get closer and closer to truth but never reach 100% truth, the exact nature of reality itself. Relative truth describes the limits of our cognition in each stage of its development. Lenin put it as the main thrust of his work, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, against those agnostics, those empiricists: “To be a materialist is to acknowledge objective truth revealed by our sense organs. To acknowledge as objective truth, a truth independent of man and mankind, is to recognize in one way or another, absolute truth.” (p. 104) “Human reason then in its nature is capable of yielding and does yield the absolute truth which is composed of the sum-total of relative truths. Each step in the development of science adds new fragments of truth, and from this the absolute truth is constituted, but the limits of the truth of each scientific statement are relative, now expanding, now shrinking with the growth of science.” (p. 106)

That’s why Marxism, being the sum-total of relative truth in history, is absolute truth in comparison to our day-to-day experiences. Whether or not one acknowledges the existence of this absolute right and wrong constitutes a line of demarcation in the communist movement today, a line of demarcation between Marxism, and pragmatism. And recently the IWK, in typical opportunist fashion, jumped out, (many years late after the struggle on this question was already over and won) and cried that this is worshipping Marxism as an “ossified doctrine”!!!

Consider IWK’s historical belittling of the role of MLMTTT, (and lack of repudiation of this line) and their eclecticism. Today they are hoping people have bad memories and are still trying to confuse people by talking nonsense on this question.