Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Black Workers Congress

The Black Liberation Struggle, the Black Workers Congress, and Proletarian Revolution

Concluding Remarks

The development and advance of Black people’s struggle for liberation and equality has changed the political face of imperialist America. It has created for the 25 million or so Afro-Americans new pride in their history and culture, undying opposition to oppression and racism, unbounded confidence in their own ability to make even more changes, and a determination to be free. But what is even more outstanding is the effect that the Black liberation movement has had on the total revolutionary movement in the U.S. Because the Black Nation in the U.S. has developed into one primarily made up of working people, our revolutionary struggle against national oppression and racial discrimination, which constitutes the principal political struggle in the U.S. today, is at the same time, the most advanced component of the revolutionary workers movement, and the anti-imperialist movement as a whole. The growth and revival of the women’s movement, the student movement, the youth movement, the struggles of the other oppressed nationalities, and the rank and file movement of the working class, were all set ablaze by the heroic Black liberation struggle.

The development of Afro-American people in the United States into an oppressed nation was result on the hand of the historic transformation of African, European and Indian people (BUT PRIMARILY AFRICAN) within the confines of the southern slave system and afterwards, and on the other, the failure of the “bourgeois democratic” revolution – the Civil War and Reconstruction. The development of monopoly capitalism in the U.S. (imperialism) prevented the “promise of America” being extended to Black people, who were forced back into the plantations of their former slave masters under conditions as cruel and brutal as slavery. This process prevented the “integration” of Blacks and Whites into one nation based on equality; foreclosed any possibility of Black people “assimilating” or “melting in the pot”; and laid the conditions for what has become the national revolutionary movement of Black people. Black people became an oppressed nation inside the heartland of U.S. imperialism, a people with a common language, culture, territory – united by the common historical experience of 250 years of chattel slavery.

The national oppression of Black people was and continues to be facilitated the white ruling class ideology of racism, the doctrine of white superiority and black inferiority. Racism made its appearance at the dawn of capitalist society, it developed and gained strength during the colonial period of capitalism, and became a full-blown ideology during the epoch of imperialism. In the U.S. today race is the color-code, the badge of national oppression and exploitation. The natural oppression and super exploitation of black and other people’s of color, takes the form of racial discrimination, and serves the interest of the imperialist white bourgeoisie by dividing the masses of white and black working people from one another, particularly by fostering “white chauvinism” and “white racism” among the masses of the “oppressor” nation. The oppressed Black Nation is seen as an “inferior race”, with their racial inferiority being the cause of their national oppression, while the “white, or anglo nation” is the superior or dominant nation because white people belong to the ”superior race.” But the Black question is still essentially a class and national question, race or racism is only a factor under which this class exploitation and national oppression is hidden.

The industrialization of the South and the formation of a huge Black proletariat in the major industrial cities, laid the basis for the big upsurge in the mass movement of Black people in the 60’s. The Civil Rights movement, which started as a struggle for “equal rights” in the southern states, and which was mainly directed at abolishing the feudal-slave remnants (lynching, Jim Crow, etc.), proved only to be a spark which later set ablaze the ghettos of the big cities.

Literally thousands of Black people went through a baptism of fire and street fighting against the main forces of the U.S. government-the national guard and the various paratrooper divisions. This deepening of the revolutionary process frightened the “comfortably well-off representatives of the Black Bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie as much as it did the monopoly capitalists. There bourgeois elements who formerly “led” the ”non-violent” and “peaceful” Civil Rights marches the “house niggers” as Malcolm called them, couldn’t even conceive of a revolutionary upheaval likely to threaten their existence. Hence, they openly and covertly collaborated with the ruling class through institutions like the Ford and Rockefeller foundations to help “save America from destruction”. In doing so, they helped expose themselves to the Black masses, the real salt of the earth, who literally shed blood in combat with the armed forces of the U.S. They “peeped” the Black bourgeoisie’s game-plan, so to speak, which was to sell themselves as dearly as possible to the ”big” bourgeoisie, and to receive from it a higher price, a “bigger piece of the action”, for their betrayal of the Black people’s struggle.

The emergence and development of the league of Revolutionary Black Workers and the Black Workers Congress as revolutionary Black worker’s organizations, signaled the coming to the forefront of the Black movement, the Black sector of the proletariat. The Black liberations movement broke out before the proletariat was able to play the leading role, because of insufficient class consciousness and lack of organization, lack of a genuine Communist Party and so forth. But a revolutionary movement is a restless thing. Elements from other classes in the Black community, particularly the petty bourgeoisie and organizations like SNCC, the BBP and so on, latched on to this developing workers movement and tried to lead it with their own class interest in mind. The petty bourgeois and bourgeois ideas these elements brought into the League and the Congress, the various “left” and right tendencies we spoke of earlier, kept these organizations from consolidating themselves and their influence with the Black masses, and slowed down the Black proletariat taking the lead of the Black struggle. At the same time this struggle inside these organizations, basically over what class and what ideology would lead the Black masses, was a good thing because it helped strengthen the proletariat forces within them and pushed the development of the working class movement forward. But as we stated before, the struggle against the influences of the petty bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie within the workers movement is far from over. In a country with such a large petty bourgeoisie and such a powerful bourgeoisie as the U.S., these elements are bound to come into the worker’s movement in large numbers especially when itís on the rise, like now. This is good, but it is also bad and dangerous because with them they bring their class weaknesses; especially their “subjectivism”, which flip-flops from ’over-enthusiasm’ on one hand, to “demoralization” on the other. Only by ’having a good grasp of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse Tung Thought, and constantly relying on the massesí can genuine communist successfully combat these tendencies and push the revolutionary movement onward.

The main task of the Black Workers Congress today is to bring Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse Tung Thought to the masses of Black people, with the aim of firmly establishing the reading role of the Black proletariat in the Black liberation movement, and the leading role of the proletariat as a whole over the entire revolutionary movement in the U.S., while uniting the national and class struggle of Black people with that of the revolutionary proletariat as a whole. We are about helping to build a new, genuine, “multi-national” Communist Party made up of the most advanced elements of the working class and oppressed, and free from bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideology, more specifically, from ’subjectivism’, white chauvinism (racism), bourgeois nationalism, opportunism and ultra-democracy. We are about building a United Front of all who can be united to defeat U.S. imperialism under the leadership and guidance of the working class and its Communist Party. We are about waging a militant struggle for the every-day demands of the masses of people, the struggle for decent housing, food, clothing, wages, and health, a struggle against police brutality and fascist reaction, a struggle for jobs for everyone and against unemployment and super-exploitation. But unlike opportunists of various sorts, who hide their “politics” from the people, we will not; we will never cease to explain to the people that the struggle for “reforms” will never liberate them from oppression and exploitation, this can only be done by struggling for the complete destruction of the system which produces for profit and not for the material and spiritual needs of people, the struggle against imperialism itself, the struggle for proletarian revolution, the dictatorship of the Proletariat and Socialism.

The Black Workers Congress presents its program to all genuine revolutionaries throughout the imperialist United States, to the great majority of American people, especially to the great multi-national U.S. proletariat – Black, Brown, Yellow, and White. But in particular, to the masses of Black people who work the assembly lines and the sweat shops, the hospitals, phone companies, in the kitchens and homes of Henry Ford and Nelson Rockefeller, in the cafeterias of the big bourgeois universities, to our people in the inhuman prison cages across this racist land, to the brothers and sisters in the armed forces of the bourgeoisie’s military machine, to the revolutionary students and genuine revolutionary nationalists in the communities, to the young-bloods in the high schools and in the streets, to all of you across this land who are ready to take a revolutionary stand against our oppressors. TO YOU THIS PROGRAM IS PRESENTED!