Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Editorial: Looking Back on Mayday

– Strengths and Weaknesses Summed Up –

First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 3, May 17, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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This year’s May Day celebrations in the U.S. had even more significance than usual. Aside from commemorating the great history and traditions of the working class, May Day this year was also a time for clearly restating our main and immediate task of building a new communist party in the U.S. and recommitting ourselves to the class struggle against capitalism.

The celebrations showed some of the strengths and weaknesses characteristic of our movement at the present time. On the positive side, the large strides forward in party-building were greatly consolidated and expanded on May Day. In more than 25 meetings, representatives of the growing unity trend spoke in some detail about the developing efforts being made to forge a single revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party.

Through the course of these activities, even broader unity was built among many communist groups and individuals who are moving towards unity.

During these meetings some direct blows were dealt to anti-party opportunists such as the Guardian and the “Revolutionary Wing.” Their anti-party views were soundly discredited in the eyes of many people who participated in the activities.

Militant May Day demonstrations hit at imperialism and the two superpowers for their attacks on the third world countries and for their growing war preparations. May Day was also a time when many workers and unemployed were mobilized against capitalism’s attacks to demand: “Jobs or Income Now!” and to oppose all forms of discrimination against minorities and women. While in some cities the activities were still relatively small, nationally thousands of workers were educated in the spirit of socialist revolution. The weaknesses were in large part due to the youthful primitiveness of our movement at the present time. With no single communist center to coordinate the May Day mobilization into a mighty display of working class power, we had a situation where several activities took place simultaneously in many cities. This spread some confusion and demoralization among many of the most advanced and revolutionary-minded workers.

To add to this difficult situation, the revisionist Communist Party USA and the various Trotskyist organizations were trampling on the real revolutionary traditions of May Day. They tried to transform this holiday into a celebration of reformism and Bicentennial patriotism, combined with support for the Soviet Union’s expansionism and aggression in Angola and elsewhere.

The Marxist-Leninist forces, including the October League, contributed a great deal of work in mobilizing to build this year’s May Day on a sound revolutionary basis and in opposing the revisionists and Trotskyists. In the course of this work however, errors were made in some cities where a separation was made between communist education and our mobilization of the workers. In some cases our party-building efforts were not well enough integrated with the mass struggle of the factory workers. This is especially important in light of the recent upsurge in the strike movement of the workers. This separation shows that the struggle against right opportunism and revisionism must be heightened within our own ranks also.

Through our experiences in this type of mobilization we can see the need to base our work even more solidly within the factories and to go more deeply among the working class and oppressed peoples when building for May Day and similar activities.

Closely linking the day-to-day struggle of the working class with the science of Marxism-Leninism and heightening communist unity, will make next year’s May Day celebrations a great victory.