Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist League

ACWM (ML) Breaks with Call

First Published: The People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, No. 4, May 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The building of a multinational Communist Party of a New Type is the key question that confronts all Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries in the USNA today. It is precisely this question that brought several organizations together on November 19, 1972 to call for a conference of Marxist-Leninists of North America to struggle and unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. As a result, a Preparatory Committee was formed to be responsible for the creation of such a conference.

Working on the Committee, the Communist League came in close contact with the American Communist Workers Movement (M-L). This led to many discussions and very intense struggle between the two organizations. These centered on the carrying out of the objectives set forth in the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. During the course of this discussion, the American Communist Workers Movement (M-L) became more and more antagonistic toward the work of the Preparatory Committee in general and toward the Communist League in particular. It was only a short time later that the ACWM (M-L) broke with the Preparatory Committee, attacked the Communist League and severed relations between the two organizations.

The Call clearly set forth the objectives for the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists: 1) to struggle and unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, the theory of scientific socialism; 2) that out of this struggle would come the unity necessary to build a Communist Party of a New Type, the highest form of working class organization, able to lead and represent the interests of the entire working class in the battle to overthrow imperialism; 3) that the Party of a New Type can only be built on the basis of the struggle against revisionism and opportunism, and 4.) that such struggle and unity can only come about by guaranteeing the right for all Marxist-Leninists to come to the Conference and present their views no matter what their size and experience, based on the common goal of building a Marxist-Leninist Party.

In marked contrast to the principles put forth in the CAll, the work of the Preparatory Committee was continually hampered by the unprincipled white chauvinist and male supremacist attacks on members of the Committee by the ACWM (M-L). Disregarding the struggle to unite all Marxist-Leninist for this important work and guaranteeing full democratic participation of all comrades, the ACWM (M-L) resorted to such despicable tactics as agreeing to everything said by a leading CL comrade (who happened to be Negro National minority) while he was attending a meeting. Then as soon as this comrade was not present the ACWM (M-L) totally disagreed to everything settled while this comrade had been present. Such blatant white chauvinism, the poisonous ideology of imperialism, was resorted to again and again to attack comrades in the meetings, especially when the propositions of the ACWM (M-L) were in question.

At one point, a CL comrade traveled hundreds of miles as part of the Preparatory Committee’s program of exchanging cadre to organize for the Conference. After arriving, the CL comrade who again happened to be Negro National Minority was left out of all important meetings and at one point was forced to sit in a car during a meeting because the ACWM (M-L) regarded Communist League cadre as “security risks”!

Time and again the ACWM (M-L) showed their contempt for the struggle to unite all Marxist-Leninists and arrogantly strained the necessary fraternal relations with the participating organizations on the committee by refusing to recognize the leadership of the women comrades. There were many instances when women comrades were not called upon in meetings chaired by the ACWM (M-L). When the comrades were allowed to speak, they were openly ignored and even cut off in the midst of their presentations. Once again, this was especially true towards the Negro national minority female comrades. At one point a comrade who was out of town on Communist League business was attacked by the ACWM(M-L) for not “doing her duties”.

Even in the face of such unprincipled tactics that could only undermine the work of organizing the conference, the Committee always showed a willingness to continue to work with the ACWM (M-L) to achieve the goals of the Conference. This work became more and more impossible as the ACWM(M-L) began to make proposals and carry out activities that were in complete opposition to the minimal program that previously was agreed upon by all of the participating organizations, including the ACWM(M-L). What were these proposals? Instead of holding a conference of Marxist-Leninists and honest revolutionaries for the purpose of achieving unity to prepare for the concrete building of a vanguard working class” Communist Party in the Bolshevik tradition, the ACWM(M-L) wished to invite “the masses”.

To achieve this high sounding task, the ACWM(M-L) proposed: 1) to announce the conference by printing thousands of leaflets and posters to be spread helter-skelter through all major cities; 2) to have the Committee form a roving band of Communists to travel to all major cities spreading “enthusiasm” amongst the masses(students on college campuses) for the conference; 3) to publish a “mass” newspaper to be the principal organ for party building. The ACWM(M-L) also insisted that the Committee adopt what they referred to as ”Mass democracy for the conference. They distorted the principle of guaranteeing the rights of all Marxist-Leninists to be fully represented at the Conference which could be otherwise dominated by the large, well represented organisations. The ACWM(M-L) wanted this important question to become one of opening the doors to “the masses”, to allow anyone with the loudest voice, regardless, of political outlook to disrupt and dominate this historic meeting.

Sulking over their inability to sway the Committee away from the objectives set forth in the Call, the ACWM (M-L) broke with the Committee and attacked the Communist League.

Speaking as a member of the Committee, the Communist League expresses full support for the principles set forth in the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. As each day passes, it is clear that strong support for taking the necessary steps in the construction of a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party is steadily growing. As this important and historic task slowly takes shape and passes from fiction to fact, it is obvious that resistance will also grow. It is also obvious that this resistance is nothing but the expression of fear and weakness on the part of those forces who will stand to lose from the organization of the working class into a powerful army, led by its general staff, a Marxist-Leninist Party.

We welcome this opportunity to learn from the negative examples so clearly spelled out for all to see by the ACWM(M-L). Let the imperialists and their lackeys tremble in their boots. As we have stated and will say again: “History has said we must. Let us say we can!”