Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Report from the Detroit Continuations Committee

Published: National Continuations Committee Newsletter, No. 4, June 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Detroit local Continuations Committee sends comradely greetings to all those who are participating in the process of applying Marxism-Leninism to the objective process within the USNA, i.e., the struggle to have a congress and the building of a Marxist-Leninist Multinational Communist Party of the USNA.

The Detroit Committee has been in the process of this struggle since it was reconstituted in September, 1973, and has implemented the Four-Points of Unity for the basis of the Committees’ growth and development. The following is a brief description of the struggles and development of the committee over the past seven months.

Recently, a split developed in the Detroit Local Continuations Committee over the Resolution from the May Conference being the Fourth Point of Unity for the building of the Congress and the Party. The struggle was long, and errors were made by the Local and National Continuations Committees; these errors being the basis for the struggle and the split. These errors have been recognized by the Local and National committees through a self-criticism and a rectification of our style of work.

Brief History of Committee and Struggle

In September 1973, the Committee consisted of C.L. cadre and Capital Collective cadre. The organizing work of the Committee began, and soon one collective and five individuals were recruited on the Committee. The Committee studied What is to be Done? as its theoretical preparation for the Congress. Polemics ensued around What is to be Done?, always around the basis of unity-struggle-unity. This unity was dissolved when the questions of organizing for the Congress around the resolutions was discussed in the Committee. The two lines that emerged in the Committee were 1) (Opposition) “We consider the interrelation, between the organizations and groups that held the Conference last May to be connected with us by the Three General Principles. Therefore, we hold independence at this time on all practical and theoretical works, organizational as well as individual. We are, not bound to the Resolutions that were developed out of the Conference, except to study them, add, subtract, “endorse, or criticize them.” (Principal notions for Minimal Unity – Opposition paper); 2) Capital Collective and C.L. line, “These draft resolutions that were published in the newspaper Marxist-Leninist Unite! are historical documents, which are being presented to stimulate discussion, for Party Program at the upcoming Congress.” (C.L. Criticism of the above paper “Principal Motions for Minimal Unity”.) At this point it should be noted, 1) neither group viewed the Resolutions as a Fourth Point of unity to be on the Committee; 2) there were two different views as to the practical implementation of Marxist-Leninist Unite!

The Oppositions’ views of how the Committee should use Marxist-Leninist United was “We regard the Resolutions as historical documents, that should be studied and passed out to persons or organizations who join the Committee.” (What do we have – “Democracy or Centralism”?) The view of the C.L. and the Capital Collective was that the Resolutions should go out to all honest, revolutionaries and Marxist-Leninists. When the two lines finally emerged and were clear, the Opposition took the position that all further organizing work should stop until the Committee could get clarity and unity around the Resolutions. The Committee adopted this motion, but was in error in doing so.

Soon after the first “Newsletter” was published with the Resolutions being a Fourth Point of Unity, the Opposition requested a meeting with the National Committee in which it criticized the National Continuations Committee, for its style of work and for publishing the Resolutions as a Fourth Point of Unity. The National Committee accepted the criticism of it being inconsistent and referred those who were criticizing back to the “Newsletter”. On the point of the Resolutions, the National Continuations Committee made an incorrect analysis of the Resolutions and the role of the Committee, and put out the line that the Committee operated under a broad democratic form, and that the Committee would have to decide in what way the Resolutions should be used. This lead the Local Committee to take a vote on the Resolutions being a Fourth Point of Unity, with the Opposition being a numerical majority on the Committee.

After a few meetings, the next “Newsletter” appeared, which clarified the point on the Resolutions. Another meeting was requested by the Opposition with the National, in which the Resolutions were again voted down. At this point, the National Committee declared the Detroit Local Committee to be in opposition to the National, and that the Local Committee was creating a faction within the Continuations Committees.

The Capital Collective and the C.L. continuously upheld the position that the Resolutions are the practical application of Marxism-Leninism in the USNA, i.e., of the Three Points of Unity. The Resolutions were that step taken in the application of Marxism-Leninism in the USNA, that dictates to all revolutionaries, “...That when a certain process has already progressed and changed from one stage of development to another, they, (revolutionaries) must also be good at making themselves and their fellow revolutionaries progress and change in their subjective knowledge along with it, i.e., they must ensure that the proposed new revolutionary tasks and new working programmes correspond to the new changes in the situation.” (Mao Tsetung, Selected Readings, p. 79). The Committee criticizes itself for not being successfully aiding in the further development of those who were purged. The Committee also recognizes that “It often happens, however, that thinking lags behind reality; this is because man’s cognition is limited by numerous social conditions. We are opposed to die-hards in the revolutionary ranks whose thinking fails to advance with changing objective circumstances and has manifested itself historically as “Right” Opportunism. These people fail to see that the struggle of opposites has already pushed the objective process forward while their knowledge has stopped at the old stage. This is characteristic of the thinking of all die-hards. Their thinking is divorced from social practice, and they cannot march ahead to guide the chariot of society; they simply trail behind, grumbling that it goes too fast and trying to drag it back or turn it in the opposite direction.” (Ibid. p. 79-80)

Since the time of the “purge”, new organizations have been recruited on the Committee around the Four Points of Unity. The organizations participating on the Committee will be studying the Resolutions, in conjunction with the process of formulating a Party Program, while the Committee proper will hold a Forum on Party Building to draw lines of demarcation on the Building of a Party.

Oppose Diehards!

Detroit Local Continuations Committee