Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

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

3.PRRWO’s & RWL’s Opportunist Menshevik Line on Organisation


They would link up different positions. They link our line on united front tactics to what they claim is our view that “fascism is inevitable.” They link our struggle to identify and criticize the ideological pitfalls in the communist movement to their charge that we proclaim ourselves “the only vaccinated organization,” holding the line of seeking “hegemony,” the invention of “the leading circle.”

This inevitably leads them into destructive circle squabbling, picking on words, phrases, instead of going into the essence, the main thrust, the best argument of the opponent to argue on principled issues, in the context of time and place.

Lenin said:

In each of these stages the circumstances of the struggle and the immediate object of the attack are materially different; each stage is, as it were, a separate battle in one general military campaign. Our struggle cannot be understood at all unless the concrete circumstances of each battle are studied. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Progress Publishers, p.206.

When we do polemics it’s very important to be sure, to seek truth from facts, to do repeated analysis to make sure that what the opponent says and means, as shown in practice, is the thrust of their line. That’s the manner in which we did polemics with the RU and the OL. For irresponsible polemics do not push the principled resolution of line or push the communist movement forward, which, is the aim of polemics. They only cause confusion among the theoretically weak comrades, and serve the bourgeoisie in a way the bourgeoisie could never do themselves.

To give a few examples of their eclecticism and sophistry – just a few, because it would be a diversion from their “polemics” to go into too many.

On page 3 of “Party Building in the Heat Class Struggle,” PRRWO said pragmatism, the philosophy of action, a deep-rooted problem stemming from the belittling of theory, leading to the ideological root of all opportunism, the worship of spontaneity, (our emph.)

Then, they said:

In our specific situation, in the U.S., the worship of spontaneity has led to empiricism....

And when we turn to page 22 of the same pamphlet, they said:

Empiricist thinking has led to pragmatism. . .

Comrades, this speech was written in a period when PRRWO was still friendly with us and around the time they were still praising as “a real contribution” to the communist movement our understanding of the need to raise political deviations to the ideological plane, and they even laid out a few ideological bases of their own. But it is instructive to look at their methodology. In the first place they say that pragmatism leads to the worship of spontaneity. On the second page, they reverse their position, and say it’s worship of spontaneity that leads to empiricism! And then in another page, they said empiricist thinking leads to pragmatism, ’round and ’round in a circle. This is how PRRWO takes people on a “merry-go-round” trip!! Comrades, you must ask yourselves whether or not PRRWO takes the communist movement and their theoretical tasks seriously!!

As another example of sophistry, in their article, “Anti-Theoretical Revisionist Premises,” they “take on” our statement that appeared in WV Vol. 2, no. l (where we polemicized against the RU and their common traits with the “C”PUSA and the PLP):

So now they reduce party building to merely “break with your hang-ups.”

As a force of habit, this line prevails whenever Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought as an ideology is not in command or does not exist. RU’s line of practice-practice-practice serves to build its own organization at the expense of the communist movement. CP, PL are two organizations which degenerated, at least partly (if not mainly) due to pragmatism. This lesson must be grasped tightly. If it’s not grasped tightly, then it’s not grasping it at all. Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 2,no. l, p.28.

But PRRWO wants to get some mileage out of this statement.

Chairman Mao said that we must go from grasping a thing to firmly grasping it, not that if we don’t grasp it firmly, we’re not grasping it at all. This is a metaphysical conception of the theory of knowledge, the rationalist school of thinking which negates the need to go through perceptual stage of knowledge to go to the rational stage...”

WVO obviously sees that the period when we were going through a perceptual stage of understanding Party building was ’not grasping it at all.’ Therefore, everything previous to WVO was eclectic, opportunist and muddled. The movement was at a standstill, awaiting the anti-revisionist premises.... (Palante, 3/9-4/8, 1976. Vol.6, No.3, p.15).

But in his “Concerning Correct Methods of Leadership” Chairman Mao said that communists must grasp tasks tightly; to not do so is not to grasp them at all.

So perhaps PRRWO is changing Chairman Mao’s “rationalism”?!

In another place, PRRWO charged:

WVO attitude towards left errors is further proof of their missing the essence of all opportunism ... WVO states that left errors are a ’senile disease’ that ’will not spread far.’ This line belittles the left danger, which although is not-the main danger must be actively struggled against. We cannot expect ultra-leftism to vanish of its own accord, or just stay isolated. ...This is no ’senile disorder’ but rather, an error that’s got to be rooted out, ... for it is definitely dangerous. (Palante, 3/9-4/8 1976. Vol.6, No.3, p. 11)

Who’s talking about the “left” danger and telling us how dangerous it is? Perhaps there’s been a change of heart? NO! They just want to score academic points against WVO for nowhere did we ever say the “left” danger is not serious. What we did concretely talk about was the “C”L in particular, which PRRWO “accidentally” did not notice!!

Comrades, these are not principled polemics intended to push the communist movement forward to forge a correct line. These are nothing but petty bourgeois sophistry and vulgar habits of politicians who play with words and slander!!!

Do comrades think that PRRWO is really taking the stand of serving the vast majority of the people? No, we don’t think so We think this is nothing but the worst kind of self-serving petty bourgeois squabbling to serve only themselves. What PRRWO is doing is opportunism defined!!!!

Lenin once noted:

All-sided, universal flexibility of concepts, a flexibility reaching to the identity of opposites, - that is the essence of the matter. This flexibility, applied subjectively – eclecticism and sophistry. Philosophical Notebooks, LCW, Vol. 38, p.110.

That is exactly the kind of polemics PRRWO and RWL are waging. Link it up, that’s right, any way you can and any way you fancy, any way that makes it sound good and evil. That’s the truth, you can create it, just be “flexible.”