Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Birds of a Feather: Opportunists Praise RCP Conference

First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 33, December 20, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The International Situation Conference, organized recently by the opportunists of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), has drawn condemnation from many revolutionary circles but has been praised to the skies by Trotskyists and the Guardian centrists.

In the Dec. 1 issue of the Guardian, a newspaper exposed for its anti-Marxist and anti-China stands, the editors called the RCP conference “a step in the direction of intelligence and proletarian internationalism.”

Of course, the Guardian has long used the principle of “proletarian internationalism” in an opportunist way. The Soviet intervention in Angola, for example, was praised as proletarian internationalism, as were other forms of so-called revisionist “aid.”

The Guardian’s use of these terms to describe the recent conference can only confirm the RCP’s continued drift rightward into the arms of anti-China conciliators of modern revisionism.

The conference, billed in advance as a debate between the “four lines” on the international situation in our movement, turned out to be a platform for Trotskyists and other opportunists to attack China’s foreign policy. RCP leaders themselves referred to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party in degrading and insulting terms.

The third world countries were described in workshops as “puppets of imperialism,” and Marxist-Leninist parties in Europe and other parts of the world were openly slandered.

Even long-time spokesman for international Trotskyism, Ralph Shoenman, gave one of the main speeches. Shoenman prefaced his denunciation of China with congratulations for RCP’s “democracy” and the “breadth of the conference.”

Marxist-Leninists, including the October League and other members of the Organizing Committee for a New Communist Party, were not granted this same kind of “democracy.” Instead, RCP leadership whipped up cheering sections to hoot and howl at every defense of Marxism-Leninism, China and the third world.

What really brought forth the applause from the Guardian centrists, who for some unexplained reason refused to openly endorse the conference, was the RCP’s line that the international movement should direct its main blow at the U.S. rather than at the Soviet social-imperialists.

RCP’s view is that the working class in the U.S. has only its own national tasks and is not part of the international movement against the two superpowers. This view is connected to its generally chauvinist stand on domestic matters, such as their defense of the anti-busing movement for school segregation.

The OL opposed the RCP’s view of the “main blow” at the conference. While showing that the overthrow of U.S. imperialism is the aim of our revolution, OL speakers and other communists and anti-imperialists exposed the USSR as the more dangerous of the two superpowers.

The RCP line, which also aims its attack on the genuine communists of various countries, is an echo of the stand that the Guardian centrists have held for years. It is characterized by paying lip service to opposing the Soviet social-imperialists but in practice defending their aggression and attacks on the third world.

The Guardian editors were also pleased to hear representatives of groups like Italy’s II Manifesto and Party for Democratic Unity of the Proletariat (PDUP). Both groups, comprised of centrists and Trotskyists, were invited by the RCP to speak for the Italian workers.

This uncomfortable but growing alliance between the RCP phony anti-revisionists and the Guardian centrists is revealing the overall bankruptcy of the line of the RCP to many people, including a section of the RCP’s own rank and file.

The praise being heaped upon the RCP by some of the worst enemies of the working class should serve to educate those who still place their hopes on the RCP leadership to build a real Marxist-Leninist party in the U.S.