Published: June 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the March and April 1974 issues of their newspaper, the “People’s Tribune,” the counter-revolutionary leadership of the so-called “Communist” League headed by Nelson Perry has published a new set of slanderous, lying attacks on the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists and on our fraternal comrades of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist).
The articles are entitled “ACWM(M-L)–The Ugly Face of Opportunism” and promise to be continued in the May issue. They are a continuation of the slanderous attacks made by the “C”L on the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist), one of the founding organizations of the COUSML, in the May 1973 issue of their newspaper in an article entitled “ACWM(M-L) Breaks with the Call”.
Instead of dealing with any fundamental questions in these articles, Nelson Perry and the other liars and slanderers leading the “Communist” League have blurted out a whole series of fabrications. While most of it is an insult to the intelligence of honest revolutionaries, there are several big lies of the Hitler type which must be refuted over and over again, no matter how many times Nelson Perry chooses to utter them. As for the rest, it is not these articles themselves, which are nearly devoid of serious content, which require answering, but it is the entire intellectual arsenal of the so-called “Communist” League and its reactionary role in the class struggle in the U.S. today which needs to be exposed.
The first big lie peddled by the “C”L leadership which calls for an answer is their claim to have held the “Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists” in May 1973 and that the ACWM(M-L) broke with the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists issued by six organizations in November 1972. This is the same slander that the “C”L published in their May 1973 article against the ACWM(M-L). It is rather pitiful today to hear Nelson Perry and company repeating the same nonsense over and over again. These assertions have been answered before–by the Preparatory Committee for the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists itself–but the “C”L continues to publish its lies. For this reason we will once again print the facts for the information of the honest revolutionaries in the U.S.
On November 19, 1972, the “Communist” League, the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist), the Association of Communist Workers, the Red Collective, the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) issued the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists and formed a Preparatory Committee to organize this conference. The Call appealed to all Marxist-Leninists in North America to attend a conference some time in 1973 in order to unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and in opposition to revisionism, to build the proletarian party and lead the proletarian revolution in their respective countries. The aim of the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists was to unite all the genuine Marxist-Leninists in North America and especially to unite the American Marxist-Leninists to prepare conditions to build anew the Communist Party in the United States on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. Due to the sabotage by the leadership of the “Communist” League, who refused to execute the common agreement to widely disseminate the Call to the conference and thoroughly seek out the genuine Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary activists among the masses across the U.S. (the “C”L said that this would be to open the conference to “every” worker and student), conditions were not prepared to hold the conference in May as planned. On May 12, 1973, five out of the six member organizations of the Preparatory Committee (the Marxist-Leninist Cadre of Durham, N.C., contrary to the assertion of the “C”L in their article of March 1974, never joined the Preparatory Committee) held the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee and decided unanimously to postpone the conference until conditions had been fully created for it. The “C”L refused to attend. The Resolution of the Second Meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists stated in part: “Certain individuals have issued a leaflet regarding a ’conference’ in Chicago on May 24, 1973. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Preparatory Committee for the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists formed in November 1972, nor with the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. The Preparatory Committee has been informed that certain rumor-mongers have stated that the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) has split from the Conference. This is a lie. The American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) participated fully in the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee. All the organizations pledged to work harder to build the unity of the Marxist-Leninists in North America.”
Usurping the name of the Preparatory Committee and of the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists and mobilizing groups which it had contacted separately behind the backs of the other member organizations of the Preparatory Committee, the “Communist” League then held a sham ”North American Conference” in Chicago and issued lies and slanders claiming that the ACWM(M-L) and not the “Communist” League, had split from the Preparatory Committee for the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. At the same time, the five remaining member organizations in the Preparatory Committee decided unanimously to persist in preparing conditions to unite the Marxist-Leninists and to organize a Conference of American Marxist-Leninists in August. This conference was successfully held from August 13-28 and gave rise to the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists. All the American organizations originally on the Preparatory Committee (except the “Communist” League), along with two new member organizations, the Red Banner (Marxist-Leninist) and the Lexington Communist Collective (Marxist-Leninist), who had joined the Preparatory Committee since the Call was issued in November 1972, “firmly denounced “C”L’s splitting activities. Quite clearly it is the leaders of the ”Communist” League headed by Nelson Perry who are the real saboteurs and splitters, who really “rebelled against’’ the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists and who are concocting lies today to continue to try to split the Marxist-Leninists and sabotage the building of the Party.
The second big lie pushed by Nelson Perry which deserves refutation is his open attack on the Chairman of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), Comrade Hardial Bains. The liars and slanderers leading the “Communist” League assert in their April 1974 article that “The reason Mr. H.S. Bains invited the USNA’s Marxist-Leninists to this conference was in order to put the real Marxist-Leninists in the USNA under the wing of the ACWM(M-L) so that Bains could then control the Marxist-Leninists.” This is a criminal slander created by Nelson Perry and others for the purpose of splitting the Marxist-Leninists and fattening their own reactionary nest. The “C”L asserts that the COUSML in the present and the ACWM(M-L) in the past are and were controlled by Comrade Bains and the CPC(M-L) and that Comrade Bains arid the CPC(M-L) make a practice of interfering in the internal affairs of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. Such charges are another Hitler-type big lie. The CPC(M-L) is the fraternal Party in Canada of the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists. Comrade Hardial Bains is its leader. The comrades of the COUSML and the comrades of the CPC(M-L) are comrades fighting on the same front against U.S. imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism and all reaction. The comrades of the COUSML warmly love and respect the comrades of the CPC(M-L) and their leader Comrade Hardial Bains, and deeply appreciate the consistent fraternal assistance they have given to the American Marxist-Leninists and the American working class. Neither Comrade Bains nor the CPC(M-L) has in any way ever interfered in the internal affairs of the U.S. Marxist-Leninists. As for the Preparatory Committee in which the CPC(M-L) participated, Comrade Bains and the CPC(M-L) never tried to take it over. It was even the “Communist” League’s own suggestion that Comrade Bains be Chairman of the Preparatory Committee. This shows how far these slander-mongers will go in an attempt to serve their reactionary interests. First Nelson Perry and company exaggerated the significance of the CPC(M-L) and Comrade Bains (even claiming that they would lead in the United States!) out of a desire to use the names of CPC(M-L) and Comrade Bains to gain influence for the “Communist” League; then, once exposed as a splitter and a reactionary in the Preparatory Committee, Nelson Perry now attempts to negate the significance of CPC(M-L) and Comrade Bains altogether. It is the habit of great-nation chauvinists like Nelson Perry and the other leaders of the “Communist” League to meddle in the affairs of Canada, a country oppressed by U.S. imperialism. Countless American opportunists, “emissaries” from SDS, the Progressive Labor Party, the Revolutionary Union, the October League (Marxist-Leninist), etc. have regarded Canada and Quebec as their backyard and have gone there to float organizations to follow foreigners and subvert the motion of the Canadian revolution. Now, when the CPC(M-L) and the COUSML are developing fraternal relations on an equal basis, the reactionaries of the “Communist” league are hysterically crying that Hardial Bains is about to take over the United States. What these anti-communists are really afraid of is that their own anti-Marxist-Leninist nature will be exposed and all the Marxist-Leninists in the United States and Canada will unite on the same equal basis as exists between the comrades of the CPC(M-L) and the COUSML.
So much for the main Hitler-type big lies propagated by the leaders of the “Communist” League against the COUSML and the CPC(M-L).
As for the assertion (March 1974) by Nelson Perry and the other liars and slanderers leading the “Communist” League that the comrades of the COUSML “know as much about Marxism as a rabbit does about bagging up a bunch of hound dogs”, the time has come to puncture the arrogant bag of bourgeois intellectual hot air that goes by the name of the leadership of the “Communist” League. The “C”L has built its entire organization and gained the limited influence it has on the sole basis of its reputation for intellectual “invincibility”. It has never led any of the struggles of the masses but it has issued plenty of documents. Basing itself on the claim that it has made a contribution in the application of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions of the United States, the “Communist” League has misled and recruited a number of honest revolutionary activists and diverted them from the serving the revolutionary movement of the American working class. Such a situation is intolerable. In order to puncture once and for all this bag of air represented by Nelson Perry, the comrades of the COUSML have taken up a thorough study of the counter-revolutionary line of the “Communist” League and are preparing a detailed analysis of it which will be produced in the coming months. Chairman Mao Tsetung pointed out that “A Chicken Feather Can Fly Up to Heaven”, that the poor and lower-middle peasants in China could definitely take the socialist road and build socialism, and refuted the reactionary pessimistic assertions of Liu Shao-chi and company that these “no-bodies.” were incapable of storming the heavens. Today Nelson Perry asserts that the comrades of the COUSML are like a “rabbit” trying to “bag up a bunch of hound dogs”. This it; very admirable on the part of the rabbit. Just as a chicken feather can fly up to heaven, we firmly hold that we “rabbits”, though relatively few, weak and not very learned in Marxism-Leninism, can definitely “bag up” a whole pack of hound dogs, especially when they are as bogus and decrepit as Nelson Perry and the rest of the leadership of the “Communist” League.
It will suffice for the present to take a brief look at the recent history of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the United States to grasp the significance of exposing the bankrupt character of the leadership of the “Communist” League and persisting in the struggle to unite the genuine Marxist-Leninists to build anew the Communist Party of the American working class.
The complete ascendancy of Khruschevite revisionism in the Communist Party of the United States in the late 1950’s temporarily put an end to the existence of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the American working class. But within a few years, in the early 1960’s, the international polemics against modern revisionism led by Comrade Mao Tsetung and the Communist Party of China and Comrade Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labor of Albania exposed the reactionary character of modern revisionism on a world scale, and a situation was created in the United States like the period shortly after the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, which brought Marxism-Leninism to the American working class. The situation called for the genuine Marxist-Leninists to rebel against and split with revisionism and build anew the Communist Party on its true Leninist basis, in order to lead the working class in proletarian revolution. In this situation, the present leaders of the “Communist” League separated themselves from the struggles of the working class and participated in forming the “Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the United States” (POC), an organization entirely irrelevant to the development of the communist movement in the U.S., and spent many years wandering through the wilderness, only to emerge as the California “Communist” League in 1968. It was not from these events at all, but instead from the founding of the Progressive Labor Movement in 1962 (which became the Progressive Labor Party in 1965), that the real re-emergence of the organized Marxist-Leninist movement in the United States began to take place. The Progressive Labor Movement was the first organization in the U.S. since the rise of modern revisionism to attempt to re-establish the Communist Party on the basis of opposing modern revisionism internationally, supporting China and shouldering the task of organizing the working class for proletarian revolution. But the PLM (and the PLP) were unable to rise to the tasks set before it.
The mid-1960’s saw the rise of the youth and student movement against the decadent capitalist educational system and culture, the Afro-American people’s struggle against racial discrimination and violent repression, the struggle of the broad masses of American people against the U.S. imperialist war of aggression against Viet Nam and the workers’ struggles against capitalist exploitation. In the course of these struggles, many revolutionary activists came forward to strive to lead them onto the path of revolution to overthrow the old world of exploitation and oppression. Filled with aspirations to split with revisionism and embrace Marxism-Leninism, many activists looked to the Progressive Labor Party for leadership. But at this crucial time the PLP refused to make concrete analysis of concrete conditions, attacked the revolutionary struggles of the Vietnamese people, refused to lead the mass movements of the American people towards proletarian revolution and degenerated into the Trotskyite sect it is today. Unable to tolerate this situation, more and more genuine elements left the Progressive Labor Party.
In 1966 the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, initiated and led by Chairman Mao, burst on the world like a clap of spring thunder. The problem of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and preventing the restoration of capitalism by the revisionist bourgeoisie, as had taken place in the Soviet Union, was solved. The method of exposing and overthrowing revisionism by arousing the masses with great debates against the reactionary line was developed. Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought was disseminated in China and the world on a scale never seen before. Throughout the world Marxist-Leninists came forward to repudiate revisionism and form genuine Marxist-Leninist organizations and parties. In the United States, new impetus was given to the revolutionary activists struggling to grasp Marxism-Leninism and re-build the Communist Party on a revolutionary basis. The Bay Area Revolutionary Union (later the Revolutionary Union) was formed in California in 1968 by activists who had left PL and the revisionist “C”PUSA or had come forth in the mass movements. Many revolutionary youth and students formed Marxist-Leninist organizations or study groups. In May 1969, the American, Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist) was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, by revolutionary youth and workers who had come forth in the mass movements. The comrades who formed the ACWM(M-L) had participated in the Afro-American struggles against racial discrimination in the South, in the struggles against the war of aggression against Viet Nam, in the youth and student movement and in the workers’ movement. In 1967 they had organized the Cleveland Draft Resistance Union and led many militant struggles against conscription and imperialist aggression. Studying Marxism-Leninism as a guide to action, in 1968 they formed the Workers’ Action Committee and began to disseminate Marxism in the working class in Cleveland. At the same time they sought for a national Marxist-Leninist organization. In 1968 they investigated PL but found it no longer a revolutionary organization. In 1969, under the stimulus of the Internationalists, led by Comrade Hardial Bains, who organized the Canadian Communist Movement (Marxist-Leninist) and later the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), the comrades of the Workers’ Action Committee formed the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist). The experience of the Internationalists in combatting revisionism ideologically, politically and in methods of work provided a favorable external condition for the comrades of the ACWM(M-L) to take up the struggle to re-build the Communist Party in the United States and organize the proletarian revolution. With the difficult situation in the U.S. due to the dominance of revisionism, the ACWM(M-L) had many problems developing its organization, while at the same time due to its militant spirit and the daring with which it disseminated Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in the working class the bourgeois state waged constant attacks on the organization. Over 90 arrests of members and supporters of the ACWM(M-L) took place between 1969 and May 1973. But by persisting in struggle to build the Marxist-Leninist organization in the midst of the masses, many of these problems were overcome. After March 1971, the ACWM(M-L) more and more took in hand the task of building national organization and began to establish a national leadership.
During this period, the youth and student movement went through a tremendous upsurge. Searching for revolutionary truth, the youth and students and young workers, including Afro-Americans and other oppressed nationalities, took up the study and application of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought on a wide scale. But the degeneration of the Progressive Labor Party into a Trotskyite sect on the one hand and the rightist and adventurist leadership offered by the leaders of other sections of SDS (by various rightist leaders prior to and after the 1969 split and by the adventurist Weathermen after the split) resulted in the temporary liquidation of the youth and student movement. At the same time, other organizations came into existence, also setting themselves the task of embracing Marxism-Leninism, building a Marxist-Leninist Party and organizing proletarian revolution. These included the Black Workers Congress, the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization and the October League (Marxist-Leninist), as well as many local organizations.
By the fall of 1972 it became clear that the revolutionary cause of the working class could only be served by uniting the Marxist-Leninists into one center in order to advance the building of the Communist Party. Together with the “Communist” League, the Association of Communist Workers, the Red Star Cadre (M-L), the Red Collective, the ACWM(M-L) and the CPC (M-L) issued the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. This immediately became a rallying point for genuine Marxist-Leninists and the movement to unite the Marxist-Leninists surged forward. At the same time, the Marxist-Leninist organizations which issued this call immediately had the first negative experience of internal saboteurs, the leadership of the “Communist” League, who did everything in their power to bring the movement to unite the Marxist-Leninists under the hegemony of their own counter-revolutionary political and organizational line and liquidate it. Giving lip-service to being open and above-board, the “C”L headed by Nelson Perry spread rumors and gossips about other organizations and comrades in the Preparatory Committee. The “C”L opposed the Preparatory Committee seeking out revolutionary activists among the masses by claiming that this would be “opening the door” to “every” student and worker. At the same time, the “C”L leadership mobilized separately for the conference in order to inflate its own organization. These activities aroused the opposition of the genuine Marxist-Leninists. For example, the “Communist” League’s plans for hegemony over the other organizations met with stiff opposition at a meeting of southern Marxist-Leninists in the spring of 1973. The other Marxist-Leninists on the Preparatory Committee also opposed the “C”L schemes. Seeing its schemes becoming exposed, the “C”L refused to come under the discipline of the Preparatory Committee and split from it to hold its own sham conference. The genuine Marxist-Leninists in the Preparatory Committee summed up this negative experience with the “Communist” League, as well as the positive experience in uniting the Marxist-Leninists and struggling against “C”L sabotage, and persisted in their work. At the same time, the leadership of the Revolutionary Union and the October League (Marxist-Leninist), with whom the member organizations of the Preparatory Committee had sharp differences, exhibited the same kind of petty-mindedness and arrogance as the “C”L and refused to sit together with the member organizations of the Preparatory Committee and sort-out differences in order to organize the Party.
Today the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists still holds that there should be a conference of all U.S. Marxist-Leninists as well as other North American Marxist-Leninists. The struggle to unite the Marxist-Leninists and rebuild the Communist Party is crucial to advance towards the proletarian revolution in the United States, especially as the economic crisis deepens and the working class fights more and more heroically against the attempts of the capitalists to place the burden of the crisis on its shoulders. We believe that when someone wants to organize the Party, they should consult with other Marxist-Leninist organizations. Sooner or later, the genuine Marxist-Leninists will overcome every obstacle put in their way by the bourgeoisie and all unite to build the Party. We declare that when we plan to organize a Party, we will not fail to invite all the genuine Marxist-Leninists to participate.
As for Nelson Perry and the other liars and slanderers leading the “Communist” League, they are not part of the revolutionary movement but are out-and-out counterrevolutionary tricky-dicks and political imposters and swindlers. In our association with the “Communist” League, in 1972-73, the comrades of the founding organizations of the COUSML found that there are honest revolutionary activists among the rank and file members of the “Communist” League. These honest revolutionaries are severely oppressed by the bourgeois intellectualist line of the “Communist” League. Undoubtedly they are striking many blows against the reactionary line of the leadership of the “C”L or the leadership would not find it necessary to hit back at them by striking out at COUSML. In fact, Nelson Perry and the other “gentlemen” leading the “C”L must be in bad shape with their own membership to attack COUSML so vehemently and incoherently. The revolutionary comrades inside the “C”L should rise up in further rebellion against the reactionary line, overthrow Nelson Perry and the other liars and slanderers leading the “Communist” League and come forward to unite with the genuine Marxist-Leninists on the same basis as we attempted in the first place. The honest revolutionaries in the “Communist” League will inevitably do so.
As for the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists, it is going to carry on its work of uniting the Marxist-Leninists, building the Party and striving to lead the working class to proletarian revolution. Let Nelson Perry and all the liars and slanderers leading the “Communist” League foam at the mouth! No one is going to be cowed by the bluster of reactionaries. More and more Marxist-Leninist groups and individuals should join the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists, and they will do so, provided that the comrades of the COUSML persist in uniting the Marxist-Leninists on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principle and political line. Under the present conditions, the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists is the nucleus of the genuine Communist Party of the American working class. We must resolutely build the Party.
LIARS AND SLANDERERS WILL BE OVERTHROWN!
THE COMMUNIST PARTY WILL BE BUILT!