Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Harpers Ferry Organization

Guardian Forum Correction

First Published: The Guardian, May 30, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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A typographical error coupled with a quotation out of context in the May 9 Guardian resulted in a complete distortion of our speaker’s remarks at the April 27 Guardian Forum on “The Question of the Black Nation.”

Ted Allen did not say, “The magic solution of self-determination which would come only with socialism subverted the intention of the revolution.” If he had said that he would have been opposing the right of self-determination as being a barrier to revolution!

What he did say was that the Communist party’s 1929-30 resolution on the Negro question “was a body blow to white supremacist ideology. . . (but) experience showed that under ruling class ideological pressure the tendency developed to forget the part of the resolution on fighting white chauvinism and to do essentially as the Socialists had done before: leave everything to the magic solution of self-determination which would come with socialism. This subverted the intention of the resolution and is a problem that must be kept in mind today.” Please note: the word used here is resolution, referring to a historic document of the U.S. working-class movement.

A perfect instance of the effect of this bourgeois ideological pressure was seen at the Forum. At one point, one of the speakers had occasion to restate the proposition understood by every Marxist, namely that only through proletarian revolution can white racism be completely wiped out in this country. Upon hearing this said, a lot of the whites in the audience burst into frenzied applause. Why? Are they glad of the fact?

Harpers Ferry and Sojourner Truth Organization members did not applaud. We see nothing to cheer in the fact that blacks must wait until the proletarian revolution to get even those rights which whites got with the bourgeois revolution.

When whites–and in the name of the proletarian revolution yet!–react with self-satisfaction at the utterance of this sad truth, they not only negate the struggle against white chauvinism and for a proletarian policy of self-determination, they also subvert the revolution. Please note: The word used here is revolution.